Tag Archives: Alice Waters

French Lentil Soup

7 Apr

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When it comes to legumes, I almost always think of beans, too often forgetting about lentils (shame on me). Lentils are so easy to make and provide a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium.

This soup is great for a light lunch or dinner, or even a mid-day snack. After a quick chopping session, everything gets thrown into a pot and simmers for an hour. This provides time for you to get other things done, allowing the soup to be left alone except for a little stir here and there.

Flipping throughAlice’s In the Green KitchenI was reminded of her “green kitchen manifesto:”

green kitchen manifesto

I understand that sometimes these tips are easier said than done, and that location and income are huge factors that affect the desire and ability to keep a green kitchen. Try focusing on 1 or 2 of these components, and see where that takes you…

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I purchased my French lentils in the bulk section of my local health food store. Aren’t they beauties? These girls are hold their shape nicely when cooked, and pack such a comforting flavor.

The soup is great on it’s own with some toast or pita. You can also serve it with fluffy brown rice or quinoa. A few dabs of yogurt or a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar add some oomph. Or even a poached egg right on top, the yolk dripping right into the broth…

French Lentil Soup

4-6 servings

adapted from Alice Waters’ In the Green Kitchen

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and diced (I used 1 carrot and 1 parsnip)

1/2 onion, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 cup French green lentils, rinsed

7 cups of water or vegetable stock

Fresh ground pepper

Heat a large saucepan or soup pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the carrots, onion, celery, and 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to dry and soften. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the onion translucent. Add the garlic and cook briefly to release the aroma.

Add the lentils and stir while adding the water/stock and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the lentils crush easily and have a creamy texture. Mash some of the lentils in the pan using a whisk or a quick go with the immersion blender to thicken the soup slightly. Season with pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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Apple Tart

1 Jan


The very first thing I made with my new standing Kitchen Aid mixer was a batch of tart shell dough. I made the dough, wrapped it up, and stuck it in the freezer for “emergencies.”

I brought my dough over to Linda’s house yesterday because I thought we might want something more to play with! We rolled out the dough and placed it in a tart shell. We spread the shell with a layer of wild plum jam and then we layered apples from her apple tree in concentric circles around the tart, but first we tossed the apples with a bit of sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. We made sure not to add too much sugar because we liked the balance of the sweet crust with a nice tart apple. To top it all off, we sprinkled some raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar over the tart. This gave the tart a nice little crunch of sweetness!


I think this may be one of the best apple tarts that I have EVER tasted. Seriously. Not too sweet, but just sweet enough. The crust is perfect. And the apples are so thin and pack a punch full of flavor! Oh, and I absolutely love the combo of the wild plum jam with the apples. Mmm mmm mmm!

Now, laying your tart dough in the pan can be pretty tricky. My goal is to do it like snow white. Even after doing it over and over at work, I still have trouble. Your dough may break here and there, but the dough is pretty malleable and you can just patch things up where you need.

Sweet Tart Dough
from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food

makes enough for one 9-inch tart or six 4-inch tartlets, or 30 cookies (you can make thumbprint cookies!)

Beat together until creamy:
8 Tablespoons (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
Add and mix until completely combined:
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolkAdd:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

Mix well, stirring and folding, until there are no dry patches. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight until firm (you could probably just chill for 1 hour and be fine). Or, freeze. Just be sure to defrost for a few hours before ready to use.

Fun variations:
-mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into the flour
-substitute some of your all-purpose flour with cornmeal

Apple Tart
invented
1 Sweet Tart Dough (optional: you can pre-bake your shell for 10-12 minutes, but it is not necessary)

Wild plum jam, or any jam of your choice
Apples from Linda’s tree (or any good baking apple), peeled and sliced thinly
Cinnamon, a few pinches
Sugar, maybe 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons
Lemon juice, maybe 1 Tablespoon

Optional: raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar for finishing

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil your tart pan.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll your tart dough into a 12- inch disk. Carefully transfer to the tart pan.

2. Spread with a layer of plum jam.

3. Combine your apples, cinnamon, sugar, and lemon juice. Arrange over the dough in concentric circles.

4. Sprinkle with raw/turbinado sugar.

5. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. If your edges start to brown, cover with foil and continue baking.

6. Cool and take your gorgeous tart out of the pan. Serve warm with ice cream, coffee, or on its own.