Sometimes, between all those cookies and muffins, you have to take a break.
Taking my hands off anything sweet is pretty difficult in my case. Actually, if I had no willpower, I would probably be eating sweets all day long, with one-hour breaks to have something salty. Because, you know, eating only sweet things ends up making you feel weird to your stomach--eating a little salty something is the only way to put things back into place before going back for a few hours of cake. Unfortunately (well, fortunately for my health and longevity) I can't stuff my face all day long, and I actually do appreciate eating savory dishes.
My real problem is that I often go into fads, and fix the same thing over and over again, especially when I'm cooking for one--a fancy way of saying that I make something to go along with my obsessive TV show-watching. Take brussels sprouts, for example: after discovering I really enjoyed them, especially with some brown sugar, pecans and tofu, I made the dish for four days straight. And burrito bowls? Make that two weeks.
The past few weeks have been all about soup. I don't have the kind of blender that enjoys blending vegetables in soup, apparently (that is exactly how my blender fell into the cold hands of Death), so I've been pretty reluctant to make any winter soups. Pumpkin soup, count me out! Oh well. When my eyes fell on a recipe for lentil soup in a recent issue of Martha Stewart Everyday Food, however, my mind lit up like it does when I look at a chocolate layer cake--and that's saying a lot. Inspired by the recipe, I realized I had everything I needed, and made soup.
And made it again, and again. And again? Let's just say I'm fully embracing the fact that Spring nights in Paris are still pretty cool, temperature-wise. You could also say that I'm a little weird for enjoying the same thing for days on end, but I wouldn't do that if I were you. You never know what soup might catch your fancy next.
Caramelized Onion and Lentil Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 TB olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked green lentils (canned can work as well!)
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 c. crème fraîche (or sour cream), for serving
1/4 c. fresh chervil, or any other fresh herb
2 dried bay leaves
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until edges start to brown and onion is very soft. Stirring often helps ensure the onion won't burn.
Add chicken broth, lentils, and bay leaves, raising heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, crushing lentils along sides of the pan to thicken soup. Season with salt and pepper, tasting to adjust seasoning.
Ladle soup into plates; garnish with fresh herbs and a tablespoon of cream. Serve immediately.
Note: If you're starting out with dried lentils, you can proceed like this: Place 1 and 1/2 cups dried lentils in a saucepan, cover with water (it should come up about a half inch higher than the lentils), add a little salt and some dried bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat. Let everything simmer until lentils are soft but not mushy, which takes around 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.