Recipe: Not So Fast Easy Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

~ John Lennon

So it happened again (so many high fives)!

A group of folks got together to spend just under two hours with a group of kids from our fair city’s toughest neighborhood to cook together. To cook real food ~ food that needs no more than a few basic skills to make, skills like peeling, chopping, stirring, boiling, cutting, slicing, and best of all, caring.

There is nothing that could make me any happier, or more grateful to know that no matter where you find them, kids are always just kids. They need us. They need us to teach them how to live well, and that no matter what, they are worthy of every bit of our love and our attention. Each and every single one of them.

Just two nights ago we gathered in a small community center kitchen in Vancouver’s Eastside and cooked 4 healthy & nutritious dishes, one of them being this hearty, delicious soup.

We planned for 8, thought we had 6, and ended up with 12 (by the end of the night we had 9). Having such an immense amount of interest has been just incredibly encouraging, knowing kids are eager to learn how to have fun in the kitchen. And they are hungry for good food if it’s there.

This is the first of 3 classes we will be putting on, trying to reach as many youth & families as we can in the process. I’ll be posting the recipes from our classes one by one over the course of the next few weeks, starting with today’s soup, as we are repeating this menu for the next 2 classes coming up, and in the New Year we plan to offer another round with a new menu.

So stay tuned for more great recipes, stories, photos, and full hearts! If you’d like to support us, we’d love your help. A little or a lot, it doesn’t take much to fill a little tummy. You can donate here, and read up on Not So Fast here if you are new to IPOM and my story, thanks to all of you have been with me since the start!

The Less:

Less complicated, fussy food means more pleasure in doing simple things. Less heavy, meat based soups and stews means more high-fiber, easy digesting. Less cost for good food means more to go around, so everyone can come and sit at the table.

The More:

More simple recipes means more confidence and fun in the kitchen. More warm filling soups means more warm, happy bellies. More skills where it matters means more focus on priorities, because eating well should be easy & accessible for all.

I thought I’d share what the recipes looked like for the class Tuesday night (spelling error and all). Part of our goal in arming kids with knowledge is providing tools when we can as well, so we sent each participant home with a folder full of recipes for each dish we made. It’s a little thing, but you just never know 🙂

I think my heart is so full it might last quite a while. And I can’t wait to do it all over again, surrounded by literally the best team of friends & volunteers any girl could wish for (so much love & gratitude for you all). Stay tuned for my next post and I’ll share the rest of what we all cooked, how we cooked it, and the laughs and smiles we had all along the way.

To make a donation in support of our efforts, however big or small (hint: there is no small!) you can do that here, your money goes a long way! Best to all for a super wonderful week, and thank you for joining me, I am one super-inspired happy camper.

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cheap, Children, Cooking, Feeding, Food, Food Insecurity, Gluten Free, Going Without, Inspiration, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

59 responses to “Recipe: Not So Fast Easy Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

  1. Melissa Neate

    Yo girl. You’re killing it.

  2. Wow, this looks great! The Lord and I have been eating lentils quite a lot in the last few weeks. They are so versatile, and inexpensive too. I’ll definitely be putting this in my to-make list. The classes are a brilliant idea. It’s wonderful to be able to help out the community like that; definitely a very worthwhile cause!

  3. Nice title to this post too…I had to read just the title a couple times over, it is a clever title. Moreover, how commendable on teaching how to cook — rather the different flavors of potato chips they can pick up from the grocer =)

  4. I can completely understand how you might be walking on air right now and for a while. Amazing accomplishment and so much more GOOD to come.

  5. Looks Simple and Delicious – thanks for sharing! Have a Great One:)

  6. Such an inspiring post – well done! Sounds great – socialising, good food and little people – perfect.

  7. Great post. I totally agree. Kids are the most amazing gift a person could receive. They are such joy. I love the recipe. I have a similar red lentil soup that I add spinach too and a green lentil soup with sweet potatoes. Lentil soup is so comforting. I need to make your flatbread so I can dip it in my soup! Love all these magical photos.

  8. Shira – in case I haven’t said so already, I think what you are doing with your Not So Fast cause is so laudable. Don’t tell anyone, but you’re one of my inspirations with all your warmth and big heartedness.

    Hopefully a wee donation from down under will help in putting a smile on some wee faces in Vancouver… (and that’s a pretty nice thought to keep me going through my day, too)

  9. This is amazing!! You are always an inspiration to me!! Keep making your dreams come true, and making these DELICIOUS meals!

  10. Absolutely delicious, Shira! I’m very impressed – what a lovely thing to do!

  11. Pinteresting it to my todo list!

  12. That looks amazing, and just perfect for a cold winter day!

  13. What a wonderful program! You must be so pleased. The soup looks yummy, too.

  14. Wow, your cooking classes sound amazing! (As does the soup!) Even though I’m usually just in it for the food photos and recipes, I loved seeing all of those adorable photos of kids getting into the process of cooking good food, too. What a lovely post.

    (I’ve only been to Vancouver once before, to visit friends who live there… if/when I’m ever in town again, I’d love to volunteer!)

  15. This soup looks perfect for these chilly Autumn days. Then again, is there ever a bad time for a bowl of lentil soup? I think not!

  16. Well done, Shira! How inspiring!

  17. Loved (!) this post Shira…LOVE what your group is doing – SUCH value in that, and it goes well beyond the food (as delicious/nutritious as that is!) … but of course you already know that! I love the full roundness of the blessings here! Everyone’s heart just got bigger! (now I’m off to put some coins in the pot!) xx

  18. What great photos! They really convey the conviviality in the process. And I LOVE chunky soups like that! YUM!

  19. I love this Shira!! Such a wonderful initiative ! I would love to come over to Vancouver and volunteer if you need me 🙂
    Love the soup!!
    Have a great weekend!

  20. This is so wonderful Shira! I love seeing those pictures of your class! I think what you are doing is brilliant. So important to teach kids how to cook good nutritious food! Especially a soup that looks delicious!

  21. Fabulous, all the way around.

  22. That looks absolutely delicious. I wasn’t hungry before, but now I am.

  23. I’m really late to the party, but it looks like it was an incredible one! You are so full of goodness my dear! I’m lucky to be your friend! xx

  24. You are one AMAZING lady Shira, this post has certainly filled my heart and put a big smile on my face. What you and your team are doing one little class at a time is remarkable, keep up the good work, it is a honor to be able to give a little to your program – thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Wow Heather – thank you! Your donation is a wonderful treat and I am honored to have your support – stay tuned for more, and thank you so very much! 🙂

  25. Pingback: Breaking a Fast – Quinoa Minestrone | Vedged Out

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  27. You are just so inspiring, Shira. You are truly a hero. 🙂

  28. Pingback: A New Years Post, Less is More Style. | in pursuit of more

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