Tag Archives: simple

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup


One day I was in a terrible mood. I was tired, cranky, and I just felt like lying on the couch with a glass–make that two–of wine. My husband saw the need to step up to the plate, and offered to cook. The hitch: instead of the lentil soup I had planned on heading up, he would make French toast.

Now don’t get me wrong–I love it when a man serves me French toast. I slather it with peanut butter, drown it in syrup, and call it Bliss. But the thing is, I’d been thinking about this lentil soup all day, and dangit if I was going to disappoint my own taste buds.

By the time I had gotten my butt off the couch, my husband had chopped the onion and was peeling the sweet potatoes, bless his heart. I schlumped around a little with a knife and a big wooden spoon and . . . then there was soup.

A taste of the soup was all I needed to immediately feel elevated. It was worth every ounce of emotional energy it took for my buttocks to remove themselves from the cushiony surface of our couch and wiggle themselves into the kitchen.

Spicy, healthy (vegetarian!) and awesome, I spent the rest of the evening quite happy–happy I had been disciplined and done what I planned. And even happier after my husband said: “I can’t believe we can actually make something this good. Wait . . . how did we make it?”



I love that guy. And I’m so grateful for his fortitude on evenings when I’m just an emotional pile of whatsit. For his sake, I’ll try to never be cranky again. Ever.

I think I have a fighting chance.


Here’s my baby giving me the “please stop taking pictures so that I can eat my soup while it’s hot” face.


Oh, and here’s my other baby.


I love that little stinker.

Anyway, this is a great weeknight meal. It’s simple and hearty and flavorful and filling. It does have some kick to it, so if you’re not a lover of a little spice maybe you should migrate towards this Ham and Bean Soup instead–but for the rest of you: YUM. From Kelsey Banfield’s “The Naptime Chef,” I hope you dig it as much as I do.



(Serves 4-5)

2 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 TBS grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
32 oz chicken stock
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
Pepper and a pinch of sugar, to taste

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, curry powder and salt; stir for about 2 minutes, until fragrant (and stir constantly so it doesn’t burn).
  3. Add the chicken stock, can of tomatoes, cubed sweet potatoes, and lentils. Bring it all to a boil and let it bubble away for1 minute.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer (uncovered) for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender enough to pierce with a fork.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and sugar as needed.
  6. Serve hot!

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White Pizza with Roma Tomatoes

Last week I was unexpectedly told I could work from home on Thursday and Friday, which was not only awesome for its own sake, but because it allowed me to hibernate in front of our living room window unit instead of venturing outside into the blistering sun, which has the potential to scorch the very skin off my bones in about 1 minute flat.

So Thursday and Friday, I booted up our old Compaq laptop (the one that the burglars in January took out of the case and then–hah hah–did not deign to take), logged into my remote desktop, and set up a little station right in front of the air conditioner with: my coffee. The laptop (incidentally, still covered in fingerprinting dust from the detective). My work cell phone. My coconut Greek yogurt (divine). A big glass of water. Two cereal bars. An old, battered copy of Jane Eyre. What ensued were delightfully peaceful mornings and afternoons, with my attention riveted on the passionate dialogues between Jane and Mr. Rochester and the chilling relationship between Jane and the inexorable St John Rivers, with the occasional distraction of answering my cell phone to set up a delivery appointment for a shipment of citric acid, sending an order confirmation to a customer in South America, or getting a transportation quote for a customer Stateside, or going back and forth about a mysterious wire transfer that a customer claims to have sent but we never received. And then–back to the plights of Jane as her will is tried and bent under the stern command of St John Rivers!

Aaaaah. Life is good.

The downside of this break in routine–I got a little lazy with my blogging. Thankfully I had this recipe hanging around in my drafts, and it’s the perfect follow-up to Erica’s pizza crust recipe from last week. So it’s all coming together after all, despite my neglectful 4th of July ways!

I love the simplicity of this lil’ white pizza. It’s not up my husband’s alley, so I’m pretty much guaranteed to get it all to myself. Mmmmm!

My sister Erica called me up and pretty much commanded me to make it. I’m so glad that after a bossy start in my career as a sister, I have learned to listen to the Blonde One when it comes to culinary matters. And decorating matters. And many, many other matters.


(makes 1 pizza)

1 pizza crust
2 spoonfuls Alfredo sauce
2 handfuls grated cheese (mozzarella + Italian blend)
1 sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 500 F with a pizza stone inside, and shape the pizza crust on a piece of parchment paper.

Spread the Alfredo sauce on the pizza crust very thinly. I emphasize–very thinly. If not, things get a little gross. Sprinkle on the mozzarella/Italian blend, and then layer on the thin slices of tomato.

Sprinkle a little Parmesan on top of the tomatoes.

Slide the parchment paper with the pizza on top straight on to the pizza stone as soon as the oven is fully preheated.

Bake at 500 for 10-14 minutes, consume, rejoice! You could even sprinkle it with fresh basil right before eating, if that’s your thing.

Now this is my idea of a good pizza! Not a piece of pepperoni in sight.

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