un pique-nique

It was just my girls and me for supper tonight as my husband worked late. A bag of lentils in my pantry had me thinking lentil soup and a gift of a tomato flat meant that BLTs would accompany.

When mealtime rolled around, my youngest asked if we could eat outside. It’s been a beautiful and unseasonably warm 80°F day and al fresco dining seemed a lovely idea.

The components were simple and the picnic was served up on our front lawn. The girls enjoyed the sandwiches and at least tried the soup. Reheated (frozen) green beans added the vegetable group. Leftover cookies (which just keep getting better) are always a welcome finish to an outdoor meal. Nothing fancy. No waterfall or other picturesque nature in the background. But it was an easy way to freshen up mealtime. And not having to sweep up under the table? Bonus.

taking it outdoors–soup, sandwich, cookies

Café Lentil Soup

  • Olive oil
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups lentils
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Splash sherry vinegar (could also use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

In large stockpot, heat small amount of oil over medium-high heat. Add celery and carrots; sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add lentils, garlic, onion powder, and bay leaf; sauté 2 to 3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add chicken stock and water; cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until lentils are tender, adding additional stock or water as needed. Stir in spinach and parsley; cook until heated through. Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Adjust seasoning as desired. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes 8 servings.

6 thoughts on “un pique-nique

      • I will have to look into that! That is actually something I want to start incorporating into my blog…food parings with beer 🙂 I will let you know.

        • Please do–I love how much more “interesting” (not sure that’s the right word, but you know what I mean?) beers are these days. So much variety and so many brewers who really care about what they’re doing. I want to learn more for sure.

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