Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Gift App + The Ultimate Lentil Soup

It's snowing!  I have a luncheon I want to attend in the city and thereafter will head back home and finish the day off from there.

My Dad is a saint and will sleep over to ensure he doesn't have a problem commuting so we can get to work tomorrow.  I had to reshuffle my meal plan so I had enough food since he'll be with us for dinner tonight.

I try a new recipe practically every day.  That's not to say I don't try a million different variations of the same dish -- we must have had at least 48 versions of meatloaf over the past couple of years.  But in the rare instance I find perfection in a dish I won't look further. 

This soup falls into the perfection category - add some fresh bread and a salad and you have the perfect winter weather meal.  It's from America's Test Kitchen's book "Slow Cooker Revolution" - which I think is the best slow cooker book out on the market.

Ultimate Lentil Soup
2 onions, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups vegetable broth
4 ounces bacon (I didn't add - not a bacon fan)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 ounces portabello caps, gills removed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 bay leaves
8 ounces Swiss chard, stemmed and leaves sliced 1/2-inch thick
  Microwave onions, garlic, oil, tomato paste, porcini mushrooms, and thyme in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes (I threw it all in without cooking). Transfer to slow cooker.
 Stir chicken broth, vegetable broth, bacon, carrots, portobello mushrooms, lentils, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until lentils are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.
Stir in chard, cover, and cook on high until chard is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard bacon and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with additional olive oil.

I am not a lentil soup lover, but my husband and oldest absolutely love it. We'll see how the little kids do today with it. I think my middle one ate it last time I served it.  

My Get It Done Tips over the next few days leading up to Christmas are going to focus on cool ideas to help you save time and your sanity during the holiday season.  Today's tip is an app called mGifts. This app lets you keep a running tally or gift ideas,  what you have already purchased and total spent.  The app also lets you view your list by store so you can keep your shopping trips organized and efficient.  Fab!

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