I have a friend off for a week at the beach in Australia, but here in New England it’s still soup weather and this is a favorite, full of ginger and garlic to help fight colds. Couldn’t be simpler, or easier on the earth, this favorite lentil soup, based on recipe from the New York Times. I always double or triple it.

Lentil & Ginger Soup

1 pound brown lentils
2 T olive oil
1 large onion
3-6 cloves garlic
3-4 T fresh grated ginger root
3-4 carrots, chopped finely
About 9 cups water and/or other liquid–chicken or vegetable stock are ideal

Soak the lentils for a couple of hours in some of the water. Lightly fry the onion and garlic in olive oil (actually, you can skip this step if you like, just throw everything together). Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer until beautifully soft, a brown porridge studded with golden bits of carrot.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve with splash of balsamic vinegar. Freezes well. Yield: 8 servings