We may live in one of the hottest places in the country, but my husband is among those with the highest tolerance for air conditioning, which means that in our house, soup is always welcome. It's also a good option for the interim period when I haven't worked on a menu or gone grocery shopping.
We had lots of company over the weekend, and we ended up with much more food than five families and two single guys could possibly eat. (This number was spread over two days.) When this happens, we can enjoy leftovers for a while. Yesterday, we were down to the last of our leftovers, and during my afternoon nap I came up with an idea to make "sausage" and lentil soup. (If you read regularly, you already know that I brainstorm about food ideas in my half-awake state.)
On Friday, we had a panini bar with crudités and Caelyn's amazing Butternut Curry Soup.
And you gotta love friends who come bearing homemade tiramisu. Really.
On Saturday, we had a Mediterranean meze, of sorts. My Amazing Husband made kefta kebabs, and Morgan made Lebanese chicken kebabs.
Other items made the spread, like homemade tzatziki, herb sauce, hummus, Lebanese 7-spice rice, Greek salad, spiced lentils, bratwurst (mainly for the children who visited), and cheese-stuffed turkey-bacon-wrapped jalapeños (just for fun).
The leftover spiced lentils served as the inspiration for yesterday's soup, and the recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, From Tapas to Meze, by Joanne Weir. I'm thinking that I'll add her to my imaginary list of residents in my dream kibbutz.
Yesterday while Craig took the four younger children to track practice, Caelyn and I stayed behind to make dinner. Actually, Caelyn watched The Nativity Story while I made dinner. It's OK. I've been found in my sewing room while she makes dinner. We give and we take. It's a beautiful thing.
Anyway, Craig really loves the sausage and lentil soup at Carrabba's, so I wanted to come up with my own version of it. I started out with some ground beef, which I chopped with a wooden paddle while seasoning it with various herbs and spices. I added chicken broth to the browned meat, along with a few extra dried lentils. Next, I threw in a couple of bay leaves and let it simmer until the beans were soft enough before adding the leftover spiced lentils.
The pot wasn't looking like it would yield enough for seven people - especially when five of them were returning from practice with voracious appetites. At this point, I remembered Caelyn's leftover Butternut Curry Soup. Eureka! Yes, I did! I added it to the pot, which gave the soup just the amount of "body" needed to satisfy my hungry family. A couple of extra sprinkles of kosher salt and a little shake of the pepper mill, and it was ready. It's a good thing, too, because at this point I realized I could barely see inside the pot, thanks to my yearly bout with an ocular migraine that had just started building. These are always followed by a mild headache, but praise be to our great and awesome God! I do not suffer from severe migraine headaches!
I'm better now. :-) Thanks for reading.