I've said it before and I'll shamefully admit it again: Kerri ... she cannot cook. No Thanksgiving meal will ever be hosted at my house without a garbage full of take out containers in the bin. I can make eggs. And Jell-O. Ice cubes. And ... tea. (The complicated tea, where you use loose tea and have to utilize that tea ball thing ... stop laughing!) But real meals? Cannot.
However, the one, single thing I'm able to make every time is soup. I make delicious soups, from recipes I've found online or in cookbooks, and even some original concoctions from my own head!
Last week, Chris mentioned that he wanted to have lentil soup for dinner. Determined to actually create a decent meal for my (patient and understanding) husband, I Googled "lentil soup" and found a recipe on Allrecipes that looked easy enough.
Lentil Soup (Remix)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
The instructions told me to heat things in a certain order and follow a specific path, but I didn't have the patience to sit there and wait for all these things to heat up at different times. (This is most of my problem with cooking - maybe with life in general - no patience!) I tossed the oil, onions, and celery into a massive stock pot and let the onions get a little mushy. Then I added the water, lentils, and crushed tomatoes. Then I realized I forgot to add the garlic and other spices first, so I tossed those in right quick and hoped it would be okay.
Because we're animals in my house - food is considered "vintage" if it's lasted more than three days - I doubled the lentil recipe so we could feast for the week. This meant that all of the carefully measured spice requirements were thrown out the window, leaving me to add spices as needed and keep taste testing.
"More vinegar!" I cackled from my cauldron of lentils.
I added way more stuff than the recipe called for, including a few extra capfulls of vinegar, some parmesean cheese, several chicken boullion cubes, and two pieces of bacon. After 15 minutes of boiling and an hour of simmering, the soup was ready to eat. (Except I added the spinach after we were already eating it - "Oooh! Forgot spinach! Hang on...")
And it was delicious. (Deliciousness confirmed by Chris and by one Ms. Siah Sausage, who sniffed out a rogue lentil from the sink and chewed on it.) So now I can make eggs, Jell-O, ice cubes, and lentils. Hooray for progress!