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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Lentil Soup

A man said to the Internet
“Lentils: Soak them?”
“Whatever,” said the Internet,
“Soak them if you want, but remember
It’s not necessary.”

lentil soup


2 cups lentils, humiliated
8 cups water, coaxed from the Earth
1/4 cup olive oil, with Don Ciccio’s blessing
1/2 Spanish onion, extra lachrymose
chopped carrots
chopped celery
a few Italian sausages. Who’s it going to hurt?
Some nice bacon
pepper and salt to taste, but don’t kill yourself

The Process

You needn’t soak the lentils unless you want to teach them a lesson. But then it won’t really be about cooking anymore, now will it?

In a large soup pot — not as big as the kind they put Venantius in in “The Name of the Rose,” but sizeable — cook everything but the lentils and water in the oil. Make it all sizzle! You might want to stop right there and eat what you have, it looks so good. Why even bother making soup? It will just make you think of Christmas, which is over.

But if you decide to persist, once everything is sizzling, upend the 8 cups of water into the pot and pour in the lentils. Bring that shit to a boil. Yeah, now who’s sorry, lentils?

Upon the boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat, and let simmer for an hour. Find something to do with yourself during that time. You could learn to play the recorder in that time, or read a short story. You could even write a limerick like this one:

I grow thin and erupt in a rash
When forced to find food in the trash
There are those who would thrive
On “Just Being ALIVE!!”
But me, I only want cash

After an hour, remove the pot from heat and stare at what you’ve done. Just look at it. Look at it for about five minutes.

Then shovel the mixture out into bowls for you and the other members of your coven, or whatever. Throw some cheese or sour cream on the top, get some bread, and eat it. Get it in your beard, drop it on the rug.
Stephen Crane would shit if he saw what I’d made of his Ur-existential poem “A Man Said to the Universe,” so don’t tell him, OK?

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