Pumpkin-Lentil Soup

From one year to the next, I keep a few cans of my favorite Libby’s 100% pumpkin in the pantry. Thanks to my father-in-law, Gene Morgan (who spent years in grocery management), I know that “old” pumpkin makes for better pumpkin pies. I see no difference in pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, or pumpkin martinis but pie — oh yes. The pie filling is darker, feels richer-thicker though still silky, and sports a deeper flavor profile with the aged cans. This year, I’m very glad I kept those few and a couple more because when I put in an order for pumpkin, my King Sooper’s app indicated zero, nada, zip, nil, nought, nothing, though it allowed as there were a few cans of the organic variety left. I don’t like those for pie (ewww), but I’ll take them in a pinch for baked goods and so tapped the icon. When I went to pick up my groceries, I didn’t even get the organic cans. Yikes. What was the story? Should I be grabbing a few pie pumpkins out of the produce section and getting out the roasting pan? Consider a Thanksgiving featuring sweet potato pie? While I have nothing against sweet potato pie as my parents were both southerners, I like pumpkin pie so much better. What’s a baker to do?

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Easter Monday — The Leftovers.

Add a little chopped boiled egg on top for garnish so everyone knows what this is — or even paprika a la grandma.

DEVILED EGG DIP–Leftover boiled eggs are whirred up with typical deviled egg ingredients for a yummy, addictive dip! Lovely for those attempting to make deviled eggs, but have found the eggs are not happy being peeled. Also perfect for those just too lazy to make deviled eggs or who can’t find their deviled egg platter. Same great taste/less hassle.

Yesterday was a long day. While Easter is always Easter, it can be many other things as well. Stuff on opposite ends of the teeter-totter. There are worship services; there are egg hunts. Kids eat chocolate bunnies; adults feast on deviled eggs. Tulips adorn tables; lilies are carried to hurting friends. Children are born; others folks cross the river, as my nephew’s wife did in the early part of the day. Some are buried, as was my mom in the Easter of ’85.


I think the thing about Easter holidays in particular is you don’t know what the weather’s going to be like.
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/easter-quotes_2

Kate Garraway

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FRIDAY FISH: Skillet Lentils and Tuna for Dinner

Flexible is this meal’s middle name. Change out the vegetables, broth, protein, and/or herbs to make it your own.

I don’t remember eating lentils as a kid. Even lentil soup — on many tables this week as it’s such a pantry-friendly meal — came to me in adulthood, albeit from a much-loved friend and oddly enough during a hot week at the beach on the Outer Banks. If I ate it earlier, I have no memory of the meal and more’s the pity. The “Lentil” I knew was the Lentil of Caldecott Award- winning author Robert McCloskey (MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS) fame since I’m a lifelong avid reader and also trained and worked as a school librarian at one time in my life.

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Lentil and Salmon Salad on Tomatoes–Reading Molly O’Neill

This salad features late chef and food writer Molly O’Neill’s perky Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette.

I can’t figure how this happens, but occasionally there’s an extra piece of salmon at our house–typically from a dinner party. Usually, the following night, I throw it in the food processor with cheese, herbs, and garlic; we spread it on crackers or scoop it up with fresh vegetables and have it with a glass of wine. Other times it’s chopped and added to some simple greens because who doesn’t like that instant sort of dinner? #justaddvinaigrette

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Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for Lunch

A stocked pantry is something like a gold mine when you’re hungry and you have no idea what’s for lunch. A peek into one big drawer of mine includes several kinds of dried beans, at least 5 kinds of rice, bulgar, barley, polenta, oats, couscous, farro, quinoa, a variety of dried fruits, and usually a couple of kinds of lentils. (A big bank account makes a lot of people feel secure, but I’m rich when my cabinets are full.) When I have no idea what’s to eat, lentils are my go-to. They’re easy, fast, filling, healthy as can be (see below), pair with nearly anything and in many a direction, and they’re even pretty darned inexpensive.

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Meatless Mondays: Curried Lentil Soup with Fresh Greens

 Originally published three years ago, April 2, 2014 on my dinnerplace.blogspot.com site.

Once, while visiting my sister, I said, “How about some lentil soup?” (I knew I was cooking dinner.)  She shuddered and made as if to retch, all the while saying, “I love lentil soup, but…”  Turns out that years ago, when she was still cooking for her family, a very large and delicious kettle of the soup went uneaten by anyone except by her.  Days went by, the soup remained, she kept eating until….well, you might get the picture. Continue reading

Meatless Mondays: Lentil and Wild Rice Salad with Poached Eggs

Despite the fact that I’m a vegetable-crazy person, I often forget to put up a post for Meatless Mondays.  I nearly always eat vegetables with eggs or, more often with egg whites, (the dogs get the yolks) for breakfast…

Above: Sauté spinach a minute or two in a teaspoon or two olive oil in a small, nonstick skillet with a little red onion or shallot, crack egg whites only (2-3) evenly on top, season with salt and pepper, and cover, cooking until whites are opaque. Garnish with salsa.   

…but rarely write a recipe or post as the meals seem so simple–like the egg white and spinach omelet above.

Here are a few I have written and posted:

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Puy Lentil and Sweet Potato Salad with Mustard and Thyme

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Yesterday as I thought about what dinner might bring, I kept going back to some salmon fillets I had squirreled away in the freezer.  The weather had warmed up — no snow except on the Peak — and grilling was back online. Note sun on the lentils….

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There was also a pound of fat asparagus waiting for its dip in the olive oil bath before grilling (contrary to popular opinion thicker asparagus has more taste than the skinny variety), but as good as all that sounded, I thought there was something missing.  A bed for the protein to rest in, so to speak. We were hungry, for goodness sake.  We needed something that would make for another night’s meal all by itself or for a couple of lunches, but that would cushion the blow of the salmon on the plate.  Continue reading

Curried Green (Puy) Lentil Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, and Kale

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There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below. 

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Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.

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Here’s my Salmon on Lentil Risotto. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato-Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage

After Thanksgiving, and just before the Christmas cookie baking and bingeing, it might be time for a big, thick, healthy slow-cooker soup.  If you practice the great tradition of Advent, maybe you’re cleaning your physical as well as your spiritual house in preparation for greeting God. Whatever the case, this meal is great for dinner and then to take for filling lunches and will keep you from hitting the candy machine or the chip bag about 3pm. Probably.

below:  daughter Emily baking apple pie for our Thanksgiving

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Having just spent a week at the beach, it was hard for me to come back to reality. (Too much pie, of course. Is that possible?) But it was time to find something to cook for dinner and I took the easy way out:  slow-cooker. Continue reading