Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cooking Tip & Lentil Soup Recipe

Cooking tip: Wrap turkey leftovers in aluminum foil and throw them out.
—cartoonist Nicole Hollander
One holiday down, and Christmas chaos begins. Holiday shopping and rejoicing leaves the very idea of grocery shopping as one that's intolerable. Too tired to shop, too tired to cook. You end up eating out, or grabbing fast junk at home, along with all of the holiday goodies left on the workplace counter and delivered to your doorstep. Credit card debt ensues, and the pants get too tight. You spend even more time at the closet each morning, desperate to find at least ONE pair of jeans that still fits you comfortably. Finally settling on a tight pair and an oversized sweater, and showing up 10 minutes late for work....
Dear God: Oh, let this not be my December once again. Amen
I consolidated the Thanskgiving leftovers today, thus stocking the frig with relatively healthy, or at the very least, readily available for a quick, hot microwaved meal when we're exhausted and famished. Leftover turkey went into a pot of turkey and noodles, of which my son and his friend will polish off before weekend is over. Leftover chopped veggies were used in a large bowl of tuna salad, and lastly, a steaming hot pot of lentil soup.

This soup recipe is one handed to me by my friend and employer, and fellow cooking aficianado. Each winter he brings in gallons of this stuff, we pour it into coffee cups for a quick, hot, low-calorie snack. So, here's the super-easy recipe, and one more tip: Don't even THINK of trying to make this without the cilantro; it's what makes it special.


1 onion
4 cloves garlic
carrots (this job easier if you just grab a bag of matchstick carrots)
red chili pepper to taste (optional)
2 large cans chicken broth
1 lb of lentils (I rinse them before cooking)
2 bunchs of cilantro (at least!) rinsed and chopped

  • Saute the onion, garlic, carrots, and chili pepper in a little olive oil.
  • Add the broth and lentils, bring to a boil for a few minutes. Lentils cook fast, so set to simmer for awhile. Add additional chicken broth as needed for your desired consistency. I like mine thick and stew-y.
  • After a simmering until all the vegetables are tender, toss in the cilantro, stir through, and serve. Seriously, don't skip the cilantro.
The bossman puts all of this into a blender, and whips it into a thick delicious soup. He funnels it into recycled, wide-mouthed juice jars, and we just pour ourselves a cup. It's not necessarily pretty, but it tastes goooo-dood!

I've fixed it his way, and I've also left the veggies as is. They are equally delicious, and warming on a cold winter day. Use the fat-free chicken broth, and I think it's relatively good for you too.

Enjoy! Stay warm!