The weather, while beautiful, took a chilly turn this morning. During most spring days, we turn our kitchens away from soups and stews to lighter fare. But for me, I’ll be making a big pot of lentil soup.

Lentils and legumes like chickpeas are great go-tos in the category of mood boosting foods. They contain high levels of folate and zinc, both of which, according to Psychology Today, are essential ingredients in proven supplements for depression. As a bonus, they are high in fiber, which can help to make you feel full longer.

We could all use a boost these days. Some other ways to get a boost from your food include incorporating leafy greens and broccoli, oysters and shellfish, fish, tree nuts like almonds and walnuts, blueberries and dark chocolate. Blueberries and chocolate? Count me in!

Lentils are inexpensive, cook quickly and do not require soaking, and will provide you with a big pot of warm goodness to enjoy for a couple of lunches. Pair with some nice, crusty bread, a serving of your favorite cheese and a glass of wine.

I like this recipe from Food Network kitchen guru Alton Brown because it’s easy and has lots of warm spices, but there are endless ways to interpret lentil soup, whether it means adding kale or spinach, including meat, such as sausage, or not, or a squeeze of lemon.

Happy cooking and good eating!


Drink pair: your favorite wine (we recommend a medium red for this recipe) or non-alcoholic beverage that brings you comfort

What to listen to: The Audiobook version of “The Starless Sea,” a mysterious story full of adventure and magic.



The Corona Diaries is a joint project of the Renaissance Publishing Staff. Each week during the series, a different member of our staff will share their day-to-day experiences with working from home, social distancing and the other ups and downs of living through the pandemic.