Recipes, Sides and Soups

Red Lentil Soup

Savory like chili, but not as spicy, this soup is both comfort food and health food all in one delightful bowl. Lentils’ health benefits include fiber, of course, but they contribute significant amounts of folate, iron and magnesium, too.

What I like best about lentils? They are super easy to prepare. No long pre-soaks like other beans.

Red Lentil Soup

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (32 ounce) carton chicken broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • sour cream for garnish

Directions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Cook and stir 2 minutes more until the spices are fragrant.

2. Stir in the chicken broth, lentils, and carrot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the cooking pot, or use a conventional blender, pureeing the soup in small batches and returning to the pot. If desired, do not puree all of the soup. This will leave it a little chunky. I prefer it pretty smooth.

4. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro, then season to taste with salt. Drizzle with additional olive oil and a dollop of sour cream to serve.

Recipes, Sides and Soups

Fingerling Potatoes on the Grill

I love this time of year. We’re right on the cusp of summer. This week we have experienced a surge of hot days that have necessitated the use of the sprinkler, water balloons, a generous allotment of limeade popsicles and of course, the grill!

I purchased some fingerling potatoes at the market earlier this week, and while I was looking forward to eating them with one of our dinners, I wasn’t looking forward to firing up the oven to roast them. Enter the grill!

This recipe is just a blank potato canvas. Alone, the way I prepared them, these potatoes are kind of like a steak fry. But you can add whatever you want:  Peppers, onions, asparagus, Old Bay, seasoning salt, garlic… the veggie and seasoning possibilities for this side dish are endless.

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Recipes, Sides and Soups

Sweet Potato Casserole

Welcome to day two of Thanksgiving Prep Week!

My sister-in-law shared this next recipe with me. I was immediately smitten with the alternating stripes of pecans and marshmallows. Guests can go for a portion that’s topped mainly with pecans, one that’s more marshmallow-y, or go for a mixture of both! The sweet potatoes underneath those yummy toppings are some of the best I’ve tried. After preparing this recipe for the first time, I knew it would have a permanent spot in my home’s holiday cookbook.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potatoes:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows

1. Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes until tender.

2. Peel and mash the baked sweet potatoes after they are cool enough to work with. Add sugar, eggs, milk, salt, melted butter and maple syrup. Mix well and transfer into a greased 9×13-inch dish.

3. Mix the brown sugar, flour, melted butter and pecans in a separate bowl. Crumble mixture evenly over sweet potatoes in diagonal rows.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Add mini marshmallows to alternate rows and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the marshmallows are golden brown.