1-1/2 cups red or brown lentils, yellow or green split peas
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup chopped onions
4 cups water
1 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger root
2 dried chiles, whole
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 -1 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Wash the lentils or peas in several changes of cold water. In a medium pot, cover them with the water and add the whole dried chiles, turmeric, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring often, until very tender. This will take about 30 minutes for red lentils, and 45 minutes for peas. It may be necessary to add more water to prevent sticking, but only 1/2 cup at a time, because the final consistency should be fairly thick. Use a heat diffuser if necessary.

2. When the lentils are almost cooked, heat the oil in a small pan, add the cumin seeds and cook for 10 to 15 seconds. Stir in the onions and ginger and cook until the onions begin to brown, about 5 or 10 minutes.

3. When the lentils are tender, remove and discard the hot peppers. Stir in the onion mixture, lemon juice, garam masala, and salt to taste. Serve, passing additional garam masala to sprinkle on top, if desired.

Spinach Dal: Add 4 cups of chopped, fresh spinach to the onions after they have sautéed for about 5 minutes and then cook for 5 minutes more.

Tomato Dal: Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes to the onions after they have sautés for about 5 minutes and then cook for 5 minutes more.

Spinach-Tomato Dal: Add both spinach and tomatoes.

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks                                                2 teaspoons cardamon seeds

1/4 cup coriander seeds                                                 2 teaspoons whole cloves

2 tablespoons cumin seeds                                             1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns


     Using a rolling pin, crush the cinnamon sticks into small pieces.  Place all of the spices on a baking tray and heat in a 200 oven for 30 minutes.  Stir the spices once or twice while they are baking.

     Remove the spices from the oven, let them cool briefly, then pulverize them in batches in a spice or coffee grinder.  Blend until all the spices are well ground

     Store garam masala in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark place.  It is best if used within three months.

pdf for recipe can be found here


Nightshade Heaven Soup

Nightshade Heaven Soup

Nightshade Heaven Soup



  • 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, stem end trimmed
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and split lengthwise, tougher outer leaves removed
  • 2 whole shallots, peeled, ends trimmed (or use mild onion)
  • 6 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock or broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 Lightly grease the bottom of a large shallow roasting pan with coconut oil.
  2. Spread the tomatoes and eggplant (flesh side up), onion halves, leeks, shallots and garlic in a single layer on the lined baking Coat them lightly with the oil. Roast for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browned in spots. (Some smaller pieces might be done sooner; remove from the oven earlier as necessary.)
  3. When all the vegetables are done, scoop out the flesh of the eggplant and transfer to a large, heavy saucepan. Add the remaining roasted vegetables and the thyme. Add the wine and 3 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the onion is tender, about 45 minutes. Cool
  4. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan over medium-low Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Use more stock or broth to thin the soup, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide among individual bowls.
  5. Serve

pdf of recipe can be found here

Nightshade Heaven Soup

Ginger Mushroom Soup

Daphne Miller’s Mushroom Soup with Ginger

By Daphne Miller

Special to the Washington Post


1 ¼ cup shiitake, white button, maitake, cremini, or oyster mushrooms cut in ¼ inch slices 

1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger (you can add a bit more if you really love ginger) 2 cups cold water

1 tablespoon white or red miso paste 1 tsp Mirin, sake or rice vinegar

1 tbsp finely chopped scallion 

Put mushrooms, ginger and water in a pot with a lid and bring to a boil, immediately turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and take out ginger. Put ¼ up of broth in a bowl and stir in miso paste and Mirin. 

Stir this mixture into the pot. Serve topped with scallions. Serving size: 1 dose

Margaret’s note: this is a real therapeutic soup. Wonderful relief for upper respiratory congestion and hay fever symptoms.

pdf of recipe can be found here

Nightshade Heaven Soup

Easy Squash Soup

Easy Squash Soup


1 medium winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed 1 medium onion chopped

½ to 1 tablespoon minced ginger 24oz apple sauce


Saute onion until translucent. Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cook for 6 hours until soft. Puree. Serve with a dallop of sour cream and a grate of fresh ginger.

pdf recipe can be found here

Nightshade Heaven Soup

Split Pea & Green Pea Soup



2 teaspoons coconut oil 6 scallions, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 ¼ cups split peas

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. dried marjoram

1 ½ cups frozen green peas (can use fresh peas, when in season) 12 oz. coconut milk


In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the scallions and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes or until the scallions are tender. Ad 3 cups water, the split peas, lettuce, mint, salt and marjoram; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover an cook for 25 minutes. Stir in the green peas and cook for 5 minutes or until the split peas are tender.


Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the coconut milk and puree. (With a little more time you can use a stick blender.) Return the soup to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until heated through. 

Serves 4

pdf of recipe can be found here

Nightshade Heaven Soup

Quick Left-over Turkey Minestrone



In a saucepan, combine:

14 oz can of chicken broth

14 oz can of stewed tomatoes (no-salt-added) 1 cup water

  • cup cooked small pasta shells (can use rice-based pasta) 1 cup frozen peas
  • cups cubed cooked turkey


Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes to heat through Makes 4 servings

pdf of recipe can be found here