Friday Night Dinner
Snow Day Lentil Stew
Dinner is a juggling act. My husband would prefer Spaghetti and Meatballs. Every night. Fortunately he makes meatballs regularly so they are on frequent rotation. My son is currently aligned with his dad, which is as it should be a 16. He thinks Mom is kind of strange. Loveable but quirky. Indeed. Nothing makes me happier than some vegetarian concoction and frequent breaks from pasta.
By Friday night, after a week of everyone going in different directions with different activities and different food cravings, we try to come together. Sometimes, now, it is just my husband and me. While he cooks the more traditional fare over the weekend, ideally with leftovers, Friday night is my territory. I try to find something quick (I’m tired!) and healthy.
Snow-bound on Saturday, I was in the mood for lentil soup and rummaged through the tired vegetables in the back of the vegetable bin to round it out. I hate canned soup (too thin, too salty, not enough flavor), but frequently make homemade soup/stew in the winter. Perfect for a weekend lunch or an easy Friday night dinner.
Snow Day Lentil Stew, with Potatoes and Celery
- 4-5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4-6 stalks celery, chopped fine
- (Onion and Carrot would be good also but I didn’t have)
- 1 small Idaho potato or 3 Yukon Golds, chopped fine (I pre-cooked the Idaho potato in the microwave for 2 minutes)
- 1 cup lentils (I prefer French Green lentils, they are smaller and the texture is more firm, less mushy)
- 5-6 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage 0%)
Heat olive oil in medium to large sauce pan
Saute garlic, celery, potato and any other vegetables in the back of your refrigerator. Take your time with this step, a good 10-15 minutes, stirring infrequently, so that everything gets a little bit crispy brown. When your wonder if you’ve gone too far and worry that it’s about to burn, it’s perfect.
Add lentils and water and thyme.
Simmer for an hour, until potatoes and lentils are soft. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper.
If too thin, you can take about a third of the soup and blend it. Return it to the rest of the soup to thicken the texture.
Top with 1-2 Tablespoons of plain Greek. Yum! This is the trick that adds creaminess and tang. My husband prefers his with parmesan cheese and Sriacha.
Serve as is with good bread or over brown rice or quinoa. Salad and wine round out the meal.