On the Menu

I was asked by one of my friends to start posting more recipes, here at The Country Girl at Heart, for one person. While I don’t cook much (like, at all), it is something that I would like to start doing more often, because when I do – I thoroughly enjoy it, and I’m always looking for new recipes anyway. Practically all of the women in my family cook and I’ve always liked flipping through their cookbooks for inspiration, especially around the holiday season, I just haven’t always had time to hang around in the kitchen. Now that I’m approaching that age for venturing out on my own, I’m starting to realize that I need to know how to cook, so hopefully I can start making more time for that. But, I digress.

Last May, Lea Michele released her book, “Brunette Ambition,” and I absolutely love it. It’s one of those reference books that you read through from front to back one time, then just refer back to it here and there when you’re looking for something, whether it be a hairstyle or in this case, a recipe. While Michele is quite extreme when it comes to healthy eating, she has a lot of great recipes and snack ideas, with fresh fruit and vegetables or organic items. I’m trying to get into some healthier lunches, at least, whether taking it to work or staying at home, just so I can focus better and feel better.

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Tonight, my mom made Michele’s recipe for her French-Style Lentil Soup, and it’s not only delicious, but extremely filling, too, and doesn’t feel quite as heavy as eating, oh, I don’t know…a cheeseburger.

Photo I took at dinner of my
Photo I took at dinner of my soup. YUM!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil (We didn’t use olive oil, my mom used vegetable oil)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup canned lentils, rinsed

6 cups vegetable stalk (we used chicken, because we didn’t have vegetable)

Salt

Black Pepper

1/4 cup grated Gruyére (we used parmesan)

Directions:

  1. Set a stockpot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about five minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for two minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils and sauté for one minute.
  5. Add the vegetable stock (you can swap in water if you like your soup to taste less rich), bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low.
  6. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Ladle the soup into an oven-safe bowl, add the cheese and pop into the over until the cheese is melted, about two minutes.

I believe my mom just put all of the ingredients into a crockpot for a couple hours, rather than finishing with that last step, but if you’d prefer to do it Lea’s way…There it is! And it will be tasty either way. After looking through her recipes again, her Italian Comfort Soup also looks incredibly yummy, so we might try that one during the chilly months. It’s great to make soup like this in large quantities, because you can save it and eat it for multiple meals, especially lunches during the week.

That’s all for now,

Shelby

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