Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What to do when you can't sleep.

My husband John gently opened the doors to my heart in 1974. With his fine cooking and silly jokes, John was precisely the opposite of who I should have paired up with if all the wisenheimers who say you marry your parents are right. We laughed and ate our way through our early courtship, from a first-date picnic at Point Reyes National Seashore to a home-cooked meal featuring the largest stuffed zucchini I had ever seen. At the time I was ecstatic to have met him, but now, looking back, I see I hit the jackpot. What incredible good fortune to find a guy who loved the outdoors, food, and me in equal measure.

So when I woke up this morning to this on the sideboard, I was not surprised.

Instead of tossing and turning after a restless night, John had gotten up extra early and started making soup for lunch. Delicious with melted cheddar on rye.
And conversation -- what a great mid-day break.

John's Lentil Soup

In a good-sized soup pot mix:

1 bag dried lentils
8 cups liquid (he used half water and half stock -- turkey, but any flavorful stock will do)
Bay leaf or leaves, if they're puny

Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Then add:
1 kielbasa, cut into mini bite-sized pieces
1 chopped onion
2 chopped shallots (just because we had them)
Chopped green cabbage, which had been sauteed in a little oil to soften and sweeten
Garlic salt and black pepper to taste

Simmer for an additional thirty minutes, or as long as it takes for the vegetables and lentils to soften the way you want them. So delicious.