A Passion for Pulses

DSC_0329Hey folks, it’s February.  Time to crack open a bottle of bubbly, splash some into those seldom-used fancy champagne glasses, and drink a toast to–


No, seriously.  In case you missed the news, 2016 has been designated the International Year of Pulses.  And by the way, if the word pulse makes you immediately think “rhythmic throbbing of arteries caused by contractions of the heart” rather than “edible seed of the legume family (bean, pea, lentil)”, shame on you–and you’re not alone.  Anyhow, to help celebrate this tasty occasion I was recruited by fellow blogger Lori Fontanes ( http://www.whattheducks.com ) to pen a share-the-bean-love blog post.  As a semi- vegetarian who has long been passionate about pulses (who knew?), I’m happy to hereby count the reasons we should all love them more:

  1.  Pulses are delicious and diverse.  According to http://www.pulses.org, there are hundreds of varieties of pulses grown in 173 countries around the world.  You can find a plethora of delicious pulse recipes online.
  2. Pulses are nutritious and healthy.  Low in fat, pulses are a great source of protein, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals such as potassium and iron.
  3. Eating a pulse-rich diet can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
  4. If you’re a gardener, many pulses are easy to grow and save seed from.
  5. Pulses–which fix nitrogen in the soil when grown–are a very sustainable protein source and low carbon-footprint crop.
  6. Pulses are not that difficult to cook.

New to cooking with pulses?  Give this easy and hearty lentil soup recipe a try.

Lentil Soup

3 medium carrots, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pound lentils

2-3 cloves garlic, diced

8 cups water

1 teaspoon thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything but the salt and pepper in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about one and a half hours, or until the lentils are soft (give the soup an occasional stir).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Meat-lovers may like to add some diced ham toward the end of the cooking period.

Happy Bean Day!

Thanks for reading,






  1. Very funny opening!!! Love the story! Thanks for doing this & check out the full list later today on What the Ducks! PS, from your description, guess beans really are good for the heart, after all. 😉

    1. Thanks, Lori! I enjoyed learning more about pulses (like, that beans and lentils were called pulses)–many thanks again for asking me to take part 🙂

      1. I know, right? Pulses. What a weird name. I’m still sticking with Year of the Bean. 😉

  2. awritersalchemy · · Reply

    This makes me hungry for my grandmother’s white bean soup. Great winter post!

    1. Thanks, Bethany! I know, I’m craving some bean soup after writing this, too. They’re pretty great for helping to weather winter!

  3. carolmerit · · Reply

    Sounds perfect for a cold day!

    Sent from my iPad


    1. It definitely is, Carol–we’ve made it several times this winter! 🙂

  4. OK, master post is finally up!!! http://whattheducks.com/2016/02/18/bean-there-cooked-that/
    Thanks again for contributing!!!

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