Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happiness is...

As part of my new attitude this year, I will attempt to look on the bright side of things. I have been a pessimist for far too long.

So, despite having to clean up several "accidents", I have thoroughly enjoyed our new puppy. She is getting snugglier (is that even a word?) every day. Today, she gave me lots of puppy kisses on my nose for the first time :)... There is nothing more stress relieving in this world than puppy kisses!

Dinner was a new recipe - French Lentil & Rice soup... The recipe came from a Crock Pot cook book that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I didn't even think about dinner until after my nap, so it wasn't made in a Crock Pot. But it was good anyway. I'm not a stranger to Lentil Soup (from my detox diet days) and have discovered a liking for it. This recipe is simple and quite tasty :)

French Lentil Rice Soup

6 c. Chicken or Vegetable broth
1 c. Lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 med. Carrots, peeled & finely diced
1 sm. Onion, finely chopped
2 stalks Celery, finely diced
3 Tbsp. uncooked white rice
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. herbes de Provence or 1 tsp. dried Thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/4 c. heavy cream or 1/4 c. sour cream, divided (optional)
1/4 c. chopped Parsley (optional)

Stir together broth, lentils, carrots, onion, celery, rice, garlic, herbes de Provence, salt, & pepper in Crock Pot. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours.

Remove 1 1/2 cups soup and puree in a food processor or blender. Stir pureed soup back into Crock Pot.

Divide soup evenly among 4 serving bowls, garnishing each with 1 Tbsp Cream and 1 Tbsp Parsley, if desired.

**My Alterations: I rough-chopped all the veggies - I prefer a rustic style soup. I also exchanged brown rice for the white rice. I didn't have herbes de Provence or dried Thyme, so I used Italian Seasoning instead. I heated everything in a pot on the stove and brought it to a boil. Once it reached a boil, I lowered the temperature to simmer and I covered the soup until the rice and lentils were done... It took about 30 -45 minutes. I used an immersion blender and stopped before it got too pureed. I omitted the cream and parsley (didn't have any).

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