Hearty Lentil Soup


Hearty Lentil Soup



  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. each ground coriander & curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 c. yellow lentils, rinsed
  • 3 c. water
  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh coriander, parsley or rosemary for garnish



1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Stir in onion, celery and carrots; cook until soft, about three minutes. Add garlic, chili pepper, ground coriander, curry and turmeric and stir for an additional minute.

2. Stir in lentils, water and broth.

3. Bring soup to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 35 minutes, until lentils are very soft. Stir frequently to prevent lentils from sticking.

4. Season with salt and fresh-ground pepper as necessary, and garnish with fresh herbs before serving.


Dried Fruit & Nut Chocolate Drops


Dried Fruit & Nut Chocolate Drops



  • 2 1/2 c. semisweet/ bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. crystallized ginger, shredded
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 3/4 c. mixed nuts (e.g. walnuts, pistachios, almonds), chopped
  • 3/4 c. mixed dried fruits (e.g. cranberries, cherries, apricots), chopped
  • Coarse salt, fleur de sel or coarse Himalayan pink salt (optional)



1. Lightly toast the nuts in a skillet or in a pre-heated oven (350 °F) for about 6-8 minutes, or until just fragrant. Cool them completely.

2. Place 2 cups chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals. When the chocolate is almost melted, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chocolate and gently stir until all the chocolate is melted.

3. Gently stir in the crystallized ginger and orange zest.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then drop melted chocolate mixture onto the sheet, one tablespoon at a time.

5. Quickly sprinkle chopped nuts and fruit over each chocolate drop, ensuring they stick to melted chocolate base. Sprinkle salt over each drop if desired.

6. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!


Creamy Potato And Onion Gratin



This month's feature recipe: Creamy Potato And Onion Gratin



  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar or Gruyère cheese
  • 3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced



1. In a skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add onions and cook, stirring often, until light brown – about 30 minutes.

2. In a saucepan, bring milk, garlic and thyme to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add flour, salt and pepper to milk mixture and cook until mixture has thickened, stirring constantly with a whisk.

4. Add cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted, about 30 seconds.

5. Layer one-quarter of the potatoes in a greased 8" casserole dish. Top with one-third of the sautéed onions and one-quarter of the milk mixture. Repeat until onions and cheese sauce are done.

6. Bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours.


Fresh Pumpkin Pie


Ingredients for Pie Crust:


      1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour


1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 stick (8 Tbsp.) butter, cut into small pieces

4 to 5 Tbsp. ice water


Ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Filling:


      2 c. cooked, mashed pumpkin


1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. each ground cinnamon, salt, ground ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg



1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).

2. Mix together flour, salt and sugar for pie crust, then cut butter into mixture and combine with hands, adding 1 Tbsp. water at a time, as needed, until dough is moist enough to hold together.

3. Roll dough into flat disk, then take a sharp knife and trim pastry to 1 1/2" wider than an upsidedown 9" pie pan. Gently ease the crust into the pie pan, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Add all pumpkin pie filling ingredients to a bowl; mix well.

5. Pour pie filling into the pie shell and bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set.

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