Folks, we've returned. I know you probably thought this site was defunct, one for the cyber graveyards, but, c'mon, I wouldn't leave you like that! :)
I've been in a whirlwind of activity these past few months, preparing for our wedding, celebrating THE BEST day of my life marrying my best friend, and enjoying our honeymoon adventure in Europe.
But now we're back to 'every day reality,' hitting the road running. Settling into our new apartment, job searching, cooking, baking, creating....oh, how I've missed it.
Europe was unusually cold this year. As I mentioned in my previous post, we've had spring-like weather in California starting in December. Not so in other parts of the world. Rome experienced snow this year -- first time in 26 years. It snowed there on our wedding day, so we didn't actually witness the snowfall, but we were tempted to start a snowball fight at the Vatican when we arrived, upon discovering large piles of snow in St. Peter's Square.
Even Barcelona forgot about its Mediterranean climate and decided to head north for the winter. Luckily, we brought along our heavy, warm coats. Although both of us have lived in locations with chilly winter weather (Virginia and Michigan), it was still a bit of a shock to the system being acclimated only to mild temperatures thus far this winter.
French Lentil Soup
Adapted from epicurious.com
2 c. onions, diced
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 T. olive oil
1 1/4 c. lentils, rinsed and drained
1 - 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
4 c. vegetable broth
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
salt and pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese (opt.)
Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic, stirring frequently, cook until browned - about 15 minutes.
Mix in lentils, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Mix in spices and turn down to medium-low; cover. Allow to simmer on stove for about 40-45 minutes, until lentils are softened. (Add extra liquid as needed.)
Serve warm with grated parmesan cheese.