Lentil Vegetable Soup

I remember when I first made this, the girls weren’t too excited to try lentils. But then I found alphabet noodles and they were suddenly thrilled to eat it. Now it is the most requested meal around here, whether it’s with regular old noodles or the special alphabet kind. This is our VERY favorite soup. All five of us love it  (it’s even been my toddler’s favorite ever since he started eating solids).

{Adapted from Giada’s recipe on the Food Network)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped

3 organic celery stalks, chopped

1 can organic diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves (can do a more if you love it or want to make the most of thyme’s antimicrobial and nutritional qualities)

2 cups lentils

48 oz box organic vegetable broth

48 oz box organic chicken broth

1 cup noodles, cooked in salted water (we like De Boles organic whole wheat alphabet noodles)

Asiago cheese to top

In a soup pot over medium heat, cook onion, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil, stirring often until vegetables start to become soft (5 minutes?). Add tomatoes and lentils and stir to incorporate. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and noodles) and bring to a boil. Then turn down to simmer, covered, for about an hour until lentils are cooked. While the soup is cooking, cook your noodles separately so that they don’t absorb all of the soup broth. Add to soup when done. Top with cheese and more pepper if desired.

 

 

Peach Tart

Peaches are in season and we love to stock up at the Farmer’s Market. Here is an easy dessert (perfect for your Labor Day dinner!) that will please a crowd:

Peach Tart

½ cup softened, unsalted butter (plus a bit more to grease pan)

Juice from half a lemon, divided

1 lb peaches~ or approximately 3 medium peaches or 2 large peaches (or you can use pears or plums), sliced into ½ inch thick pieces

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

⅛ tsp salt

1 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan.

Squeeze half the lemon juice over the peaches.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt (whisk to combine).

Use a mixer on medium speed to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs— one at a time. Add vanilla. Turn mixer to low speed and add flour mixture, mixing gently until just combined. Spread batter in pan.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange peaches (in tight concentric circles for a fancy touch) on top of dough. Squeeze remaining lemon juice evenly over peaches.

In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle over peaches.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until edges are golden and center is set.

Cool tart in pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edge and remove sides of pan. Cut and serve.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Pecan Chicken and Wild Rice (A Mayo Free Chicken Salad)

 

(adapted from the Colorado Colore Cookbook)

This is a light and tasty chicken salad. After trying it at a cousin’s birthday party I was in love, so I fixed it for my friends the following week and have since added it to our dinner rotation. Serve it with crusty bread and fresh fruit. You’re likely to have leftovers- which I’m sure you’ll enjoy eating up for lunch!

Dressing

½ cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon each salt and pepper

¼ teaspoon sugar

Salad

1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend

2 cups chicken broth or stock

Juice of 1 lemon

3 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked

1 bunch green onions, minced

8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into smaller pieces

2 ripe avocados, chopped

1 cup pecan pieces, toasted

(toast  pecans on cookie sheet in 350° oven for 5 minutes)

For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to mix.

For the salad, combine wild rice or  rice blend, stock and lemon juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 50 minutes or as per rice instructions. Drain any extra liquid when done. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces. Combine dressing (I usually don’t add the entire jar- so add to taste), rice, chicken, green onions, and sugar snap peas in a bowl 2 hours prior to serving and mix well. Cover and chill. Add avocados and pecans just before serving and mix gently.

 

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