This is for all you Mid-Westerners out there…those of you who have to get up in the dark to feed your livestock, milk the cows, feed the hens…every harsh winter day. This winter has been especially cold & snowy for one of my favorite bloggers, Cecillia, at thekitchengarden. She just writes the best stories about her “farmy” in Illinois. Go by for a visit….she is my warm, cozy, lentil soup inspiration.
It is a simple enough soup that I conjured up on the one & only real “snow day” experienced this winter here at Fifth Avenue North. I, of course, loved every flake that fell, lightly covering the sidewalks & streets. There is something so beautiful about walking in the dark as snow flakes fall under city streetlights. I did not have to care for any sheep, cows or piggies. I just walked the dog leisurely and wandered aimlessly…heading home when I got too cold to enjoy a bowl of “Snow Soup”.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup chopped onions, 2 cloves garlic smashed, 2 carrots sliced, 1 (28 oz/two 14 oz) cans Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with juice, 4 cups low-fat chicken broth, 1 cup dried sprouted lentils, a generous handful of baby spinach leaves or chopped kale, kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
(All items I had in my pantry, we do not drive to the store on our “snowy day” here in Nashville, TN!)
1. Saute onions in olive oil until slightly softened. Add smashed garlic cloves & cook 1 minute. Toss in carrots & stir. Add can(s) of fire-roasted tomatoes & chicken broth. Bring to a low boil.
2. Stir in lentils. Cook on simmer for a 30 minutes, stirring every so often just until lentils are softened. (Add more broth or water if soup gets too thick for your taste.)
3. Toss in the spinach or kale & cook just until greens are wilted. Serve hot with “Parmesan Cornbread Croutons” (recipe to follow)
Ingredients: 2 cups self rising yellow cornmeal, 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup buttermilk or whole milk, 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a flat baking pan. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, spread in prepared pan, sprinkle with shredded Parm & bake until golden brown & puffy, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool on a rack. When cool, cut into croutons to top off your soup.
Outside there were no blizzards, nor banks of snow, no waiting animals or chores to be done. I sat quietly, eating my Snow Soup, looking out my window sending warm thoughts to all the folks on all the “farmys” in the Mid-West this night.
Stay warm, Spring is near.