Retreat Recipes

Lentil Soup

This is a recipe that only uses ingredients available before the Columbian Exchange which began in 1492. We are not doing a “reenactment” of an ancient dish, rather we are making a modern version of an ancient dish. This recipe comes from the book The Foods and Feasts of Jesus.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
1 can chickpeas
6-8 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 bag frozen or fresh spinach
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the lentils, the water, a pinch of salt, and some pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep the strong simmer. Add the spices. Allow the mixture to cook until the lentils are completely tender and falling apart. Add the chickpeas and spinach. When the spinach is warmed, taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Enjoy with bulgur or rice pilaf, or pita bread. This soup is also great garnished with raisins, sour pickles, olive oil, and/or red wine vinegar.


Pilaf is a great way to prepare grains that adds a ton of flavor easily.

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup bulgur or rice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups boiling water
parsley to garnish

Bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a pot or an electric kettle. In a separate pot with a lid, head oil over medium high. Add the onion and cook until slightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the bulgur or rice and fry for about one to two minutes stirring constantly. Add in the spices, the salt, and the pepper and cook for 15 seconds still stirring. CAREFULLY add the boiling water to the frying grains. Reduce heat to low, put the lid on the pot, and cook for 20 minutes. When finished, remove from the heat, fluff with a fork and enjoy.

Breathe deep.