So . . . tell me the truth . . . you were expecting some sort of sweet holiday treat or fabulous addition to your holiday meal for the last feed me Friday before Christmas Eve . . . right?! Well, guess what . . . brace yourselves . . . in fact, you might want to sit down for this one . . . I don't make a big Christmas Eve or Christmas Day feast. Nope! Not this girl! Here's the deal . . . I make a BIG meal for Thanksgiving. It's A LOT of work! Grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, baking, cleaning . . . I can only do all that once a year. Yep, I admit it . . . I have a low tolerance for big holiday meals.
So . . . three or four years ago I decided that everyone who comes for the big Thanksgiving meal is sure welcome to come for the Christmas meal, but they will be getting homemade soup, salad and warm bread . . . and that's that.
I usually take pity on them and throw in some sort of sweet treat as well.
I started doing this out of necessity . . . my sanity demanded it. But I keep doing it because I LOVE this tradition.
I usually do one or two of the same soup recipes every year and then add a new one. This lentil soup recipe is a must have . . . even if you don't think you like lentils . . . or don't have a clue what lentils are . . . you should try it sometime this winter!
Recipe is below, but first I had to show off my super cute assistant chef. Don't worry . . . no child was left unattended by the stove while cooking soup.
Ingredients:1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots in coins
2 stalks celery, chopped into slivers
1 small red sweet pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water or veggie broth
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and red sweet pepper. Cook and stir until onion is tender.
2. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano and basil. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour.
4. In the last five minutes of cooking, stir in spinach and vinegar
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add a chunk of warm bread and ENJOY!