Winter Picnic and Lentil Soup recipe

We are in the middle of winter here in Chicago. Although the Winter didn’t hit us as hard as last year, there is still snow on the ground and no park visits. My kids especially A2 is getting very restless. So on Sunday, we decided we were going to do a Winter picnic. We set up the table with a outdoorsy tablecloth and laid out food and drinks as if we were outdoors. We also set out blankets and pillows in the Family room and played some Pictionary. Anything to keep these little ones happy, right?





Lentils 1 cup
Carrot 1 long cut in small round pieces
Cilantro a handful
Onion ½ cup cut small
Canola oil 1 Tbsp.
Cloves 5 ground
Bay leaf 2 medium size or 1 large
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Walnuts about 6



• Wash the lentils and keep aside. You can also soak the lentils for up to 2 hours to reduce the actual      cooking time.
• Roast the walnuts and make a powder.
• Heat oil in the soup pot or any large sauce pan. I use my beloved le crueset only for soups.
• Add onion and sauté.
• Add cloves powder and bay leaf and wait 20 seconds.
• Add Lentils and sauté for 3 minutes.
• Add Cumin powder and water. Let it come to boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Do check couple of times on water. If you feel there is not enough add ½ cup at a time. If you              soaked the lentils you will need less water.
• After 20 minutes, add the vegetable or chicken stock and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

You will need to keep in mind that if you soaked the lentils, you will need to shorten the times of    cooking.
• Finally add salt and bit of honey if you feel like it.

I added walnuts directly to the soup before removing from heat.
You can also add the walnut powder to ½ cup of sour cream and place a dollop of sour cream before serving.




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