Hi! Long time no blog. Things have been busy and to be honest I haven't been cooking too much. We've had a lot of work obligations & social activities after work and on weekends the past few weeks, so not a lot of time for creativity when I do get a free night. I've been able to stay on track with my marathon training though, thanks to lots of planning ahead and a handful of early morning treadmill runs. I'm up to 10 miles, which I ran yesterday, and so far am enjoying the training and have only experienced the usual minor knee pains and muscle aches. My friend Chaundra is training for the race too and pretty soon once our schedules connect we'll start doing our long runs together on the weekends.
Last week we started out with not a lot of plans during the week but by Tuesday things got really busy! I already had everything on hand to make this lentil soup and I didn't want the ingredients to go to waste, so I threw it together, we ate it for dinner, and then I froze the rest in 2 freezer bags for easy weeknight dinners in the future, since we were going out of town that weekend.
The soup was fantastic and I think the secret ingredient was sweet potatoes! I don't know that I've ever had sweet potatoes in my lentil soup before, and they really made it hearty and filling. I also loved cooking with leeks - it was my first time buying them and they were a nice alternative to onions - they have more of a celery texture than an onion texture, if that makes sense, and it was a nice departure, considering I almost always buy 2 onions every time I go to the grocery store.
I stayed pretty true to the recipe but changed a few little things out of convenience and taste. The grocery was out of fresh thyme, so I used dried, and added oregano to kick up the flavor a bit. I also used green lentils instead of the brown that the recipe calls for because they have a little bit more of a bite to them. I think next time I'll double the amount of lentils that the recipe calls for and add a full cup.
John and I had both had big lunches the day we ate this soup so I didn't serve it with anything else but I think it would be great with some french bread or a whole wheat baguette.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Real Simple's Easy, Delicious Meals
4 leeks, cut into very small pieces
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 bunch kale leaves, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup green lentils
1/4 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until they become tender - about 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and let simmer for about 5 more minutes.
Pour in 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the veggies, herbs, salt and pepper, and simmer until the lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Serve and garnish with Parmesan. Enjoy!
This recipe makes about 6 main course servings or 8 starter/side sized servings.