Monthly Spirit

December 2008
Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice © Aris Dervis 2008 gardenia still life in window San Francisco California

© Aris Dervis 2008


Winter Solstice
December 21, 2008 7:04 a.m. EST


The Winter Solstice is a very dramatic turning point in the annual cycle.  It holds the shortest day and longest night within its twenty-four hours.  After the winter solstice we enjoy the increased light of day until the Summer Solstice, when the cycle begins again.

Whether you live in a warm or cold climate, the shorter days always carry a psychological weight with them.  In order to brighten your solstice this year, I offer you my recipe for Lakshmi’s Luxurious Lentil Soup, a simple lentil soup infused with delicious Indian spices.  My wish is that the mindful making of this soup will impress the Hindu Goddess of Prosperity to shower her riches down upon you in the new year.

Lakshmi’s Luxurious Lentil Soup

1 lb lentils
10 cups water
2 ½ T vegetable bouillon powder
1 onion chopped
1 T chopped garlic
1 t chopped ginger
1 cinnamon stick or 1 t of cinnamon powder
1 T garam masala
1 T umeboshi vinegar (or salt to taste)*
1 T ground coriander
1 T ground cumin
Lemon for Garnish


Put all ingredients except the lemon in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Lower flame and cook until lentils soften and the soup thickens, stirring frequently to keep lentils from sticking, and skimming the foam from the top of the soup.  Add more water if the soup dries out.  Remove cinnamon stick and serve with a slice of lemon.


* Umeboshi vinegar can be found in any health food store.  It’s a great replacement for salt in vegetarian dishes.


Winter Solstice is available as a greeting card, 8x10 print, t-shirt or candle.

Serving Spirits Monthly Spirit © Aris Dervis