For once I actually managed to start dinner ahead of time and let it sit and get yummy all day. Last night's dinner was a really comforting and hearty lentil soup.
- A whole onion, 3-4 sticks of celery, a couple of carrots - diced and sauteed in a bit of olive oil for a while.
- about 5 pieces of bacon, diced.
- a couple of bay leaves, some herbs de provence, salt, pepper and garlic
- dry lentils (they're called red lentils, but they weren't red). I think it was about 2.5 cups - the whole package
- 2 quarts of chicken broth (it actually took a lot more liquid than the lentil package led me to believe)
I let all of the above simmer until the lentils were cooked, and then turned it off and let it sit all afternoon while I went to a couple of meetings. The kids just ate it this way, with some sour cream and cheese on top (my kids will eat almost anything if you cover it with sour cream and cheese).
Then I chopped up two whole bunches of chard, sauteed those with olive oil and salt. I added the cooked chard to the soup, along with a can of diced tomatoes (and their juice), and a bit more garlic, salt and pepper. I didn't specifically intend to hold this until the last minute, I just hadn't gotten to it earlier. Normally I would have just added the raw chard to the soup and let it cook for a while, but since I was doing it at the last minute I wanted to get it cooked faster, so I figured it would work well to cook it separately and just mix it in.
It turned out great, the soup was really yummy (or maybe it was a stew, it was really thick). The lentils were nice and tenter. The other veggies were cooked but still retained some of their own texture. This could totally be done without the bacon, but I think it adds a nice background of flavor (I would even consider adding more, but that was all I had on hand).
I didn't get a chance to take a photo of this one, it was a full day and we got all the kids in bed and ate the dinner and I didn't feel like looking for the camera. And there was a small problem with a certain little boy getting ahold of my phone and re-setting everything so I couldn't just snap a quick photo with the phone.