Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Back!

After seven months of a chronic blogger's block, I'm back!

It has been a crazy summer, this is what I have been doing:

I finished my internship in Huntington, West Virginia, and moved back to Lexington. What a great relief. Best news of all, I passed the registration exam and became a registered dietitian! Years of school and hard work finally paid off.

I went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and watched the 150th Gettysburg Anniversary Reenactment. It was quite a scene, watching 3000 plus men marching on the field.

Oh, meanwhile I got married and became the MRS.  It was the best day of my life.
Photo by Adam Padgett Photography

With all these happenings this summer, time flies. I am already collecting new fall recipes, and here's one for you. This is Jamie Oliver's Store Cupboard Lentil Soup. All ingredients are staples in a cook's pantry and with an hour of prepping, voila, here's your hearty soup for cool autumn days. I found a ham steak in the freezer, which made it into the soup instead of bacon. Not going to lie, last night we had this soup with the AC (with a hunk of bread, as ordered by Jamie Oliver) on but it was delicious.

Hearty Lentil Soup
Adapted from Jamie Oliver Store Cupboard Lentil Soup

6 slices bacon or 1 ham steak
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup dried beans, cooked prior)
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
5 cups vegetable stock (or more if you like it soupier)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat, add bacon. Cook until bacon gets crispy, remove bacon, drain grease until you have 2 tablespoons left in pot. Add dried thyme, dried chili, onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. If using ham steak, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add ham and onion, cook for 5 minutes until onion is translucent, add remaining vegetables.

2. Cook vegetables with lid on for 15 minutes, add lentils and stock. Bring to boil and simmer until lentils are soft. (Add cooked cannellini beans here if used dried beans to start with)

3. Add cannellini beans, bring back to boil and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and ground pepper as needed. Serve with hunk of bread.

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