When I first ventured into solo-living in college, my mom bought me an entertaining cookbook called Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen. This cookbook has recipes for staples such as 7-layer bean dip (always a huge hit), roast chicken and French onion soup. All the recipes are simple, consist of a minimal number of ingredients and there are even “Mom Tips” at the end. Basically, it’s a great cookbook for learning how to cook and for bringing you back to the basic recipes that aren’t too fussy.
One of my favorite recipes from this cookbook is Lentil Soup. It’s hearty, full of veggies and protein, easy to make, and it freezes well. What more could you ask for in a soup? The last part is important if you can only eat so much of something before you get tired of it. I’ll get tired of just about anything if I have to eat it for more than three days in a row, regardless of how much I like it– it can’t be helped. The only exceptions to this rule are pizza, ice cream and cake, which I could eat every single day if I had Nate’s metabolism and a live-in personal trainer.
I doubled the recipe and as I was dishing up bowls of soup for Nate and myself, he was like “I don’t know if I like lentils.” What? I had an entire stock pot full, mind you, and he said he thought it looked like bird food. Amid my shock and horror, I was envisioning myself eating lentil soup for a week straight and still having to freeze the rest to eat later.
He took his first bite and I immediately asked him what he thought– you cannot imagine my relief when he said he liked it. Thank god.
(As is, this is a vegetarian soup, but you could also add some sausage or kielbasa to make it more carnivore-friendly)
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup dried lentils
15 oz diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
pinch of dried oregano
Sautee onion, celery, carrots and garlic in some olive oil in a large pot until soft. Add lentils, tomatoes, veggie broth and other spices. Cook on stove top for at least 25 minutes.