Lentil Soup

I feel like it was just yesterday that I started working nights.  Adapting and conforming to a new schedule, a new pattern, finding what worked for me and then of course what didn’t.  It probably feels like it was just yesterday because it took such a LONG time to make work.

I never knew when to wake-up, let alone when to sleep, and how many hours of shut-eye I needed to function.  How much was too much coffee – the horrid knawing stomach ache was the indicator that I had a tendency to ignore.  Ulcer avenue here I come.  Realizing that I needed much more sleep during the winter vs. the summer – that took a full year.  Figuring out how to make my bedroom pitch black at noon on a July afternoon, that took a few sleepless afternoons to fix, an art I never truly mastered.

At the beginning I had a hard time scheduling meals, at home and at work.  Do I eat breakfast food at 6pm or dinner?  And at 6am do I eat dinner or breakfast food…all very confusing.  And when was the best time to workout?  Motivation was lacking both morning and night.  And then how was the best way to come onto and then go off of nights, naps or no naps?…And when I started this blog, well that threw a whole new factor into the equation…

It was three years of trial and error.  It was three years of sharing ideas with other night owls. And after three years, I had finally gotten the swing of things.  And then I decided that it was time for a new job.  A new position.  Therefore, a new schedule.

So, here I go again!

Creating and adapting to a new schedule.  The biggest change I have had to adjust to is not having every other week off.  I am very used to letting the house ‘go’ for a week and then reining it in on the off week.  So, you might say my house is a wreck.  Serious wreck.  If it can be piled, it is.  Laundry, dishes,mail…piled, and piled high.  It happens…no biggy.

I am very grateful for all the evenings that are now open and free.  I spend a lot of them in the kitchen or researching recipes…exactly where I want to be, doing what I want to do.  That is a great thing.  When I am cooking, I am also fiddling with my camera.  Snapping pics.  Pics to post here.  Which won’t be a problem in the summer, but did you know that the sun does not shine in Cleveland during the winter?  So natural light is difficult to capture during the afternoon, let alone in the evening.  I rush home from work, praying for the sun to shine, but no luck so far.  So, I just take pictures, with or without natural light.  Hoping I can get a few decent pics.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  I try to remember what I did right when I capture those few good ones…generally it is luck and I am back to square one!  Ah well.  It is fun and that is why I continue.

One of the great changes that I have enjoyed getting used to (besides sleeping every night!) is eating the correct foods at the correct times, each and every week.  It is the small things.  With every evening free, dinner is where my focus is when I leave work.  This week and for many weeks, truth be told, I have been craving soup at night.  And this week has been no different.  I am not a big fan of brothy soups, but thick and filling soups.  Soups that feel like a meal in a bowl.  Usher in lentil soup.  Talk about thick and creamy and filling.  Oh and lentils are seriously healthy.  Just packed full of good things!  So, let us make soup!

 

Lentil Soup

Servings 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1+1/2 Cups Carrots ( about 7 small carrots), finely diced
  • 1 Cup Celery, finely diced (about 4 stalks)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (15 ounce)
  • 1 lb Green Lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano, dried
  • 2 Small Bay Leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme, dried
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt, to taste ( I used about 2 teaspoons)
  • Pepper ( I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 6-8 Cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth)
  • Optional toppings include a dollop of sour-cream or Greek yogurt, chopped chives, and bacon.

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and once warm, add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and just a pinch of salt and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes.  Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, thyme, cumin, and broth.  Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste-buds.  Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium/low and let the soup simmer (uncovered) for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender.  Remove the bay leaves now and throw them away.

Remove soup from the heat and transfer, in small batches, about half of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.  You can also use an immersion blender if you own one.  Stir blended soup back into the large pot and serve immediately.  Top with anything you like or just serve with a side of crusty bread!

This soup does stand up well in the freezer so you can have a healthy, filling, and warm dinner in moments!

Published by Mallory

A twenty - something (at least for a little while longer) trying to squeeze the most out of life...but mainly baking/cooking up a storm in my kitchen while watching Netflix.

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