My husband could make 4 things when we were first married: fried eggs, chili, toast, and big mess in the kitchen. At that point, I'd had 9 years of 4-H food units under my belt and finished my food prep courses at Iowa State, so I took it upon myself to teach him to cook and bake. The right way, a.k.a. my way. He caught on to most things pretty fast. The only challenge was that he seemed to dirty every single dish in the kitchen. He wanted every single ingredient pre-meaured, placed into a little bowl, and set aside at the ready. Great way to go if you have a kitchen staff to clean up behind you! But not so fun at clean up time.
These days he's fantastic cook and does really well making dishes healthier without much guidance. Last night, he made a batch of Vegetable Lentil Soup that for dinner that was absolutely wonderful! And best of all, he cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher.
John's Vegetable Lentil Soup
Rinse in colander:
- 2 cups dried lentils
Put lentils into 5-6 quart soup pot. Add and simmer, covered for 1 1/2 hours:
- 2 ounces lean ham or chicken sausage, diced
- 1 cup red wine*
- 3 cup unsalted cooking stock*
- 4 cups water*
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- fresh parsley, 3 Tbsp, chopped or 1 Tbsp dried
- salt, 1 tsp
- freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp
- oregano, 1 tsp
Add and simmer for 30 minutes:
- 15 oz petite diced tomatoes (2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
*Use 8 cups total liquid. Most recipes use all water, which is fine. The broth and wine give a richer flavor which seems to need less salt.