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It was snowing yesterday and I had not planned ahead like all the other pre-snow shoppers, who loot northern Virginia grocery stores each time snow is forecast. Usually I am right there with them because I always make a soup or chili for lunch on snow days, sometimes experimenting with new recipes.

So, realizing I was unprepared, I surveyed the pantry and refrigerator and was lucky enough to find a bag of lentils, a can of tomato paste and some fresh spinach leaves. I threw it all together with some seasoning and achieved a satisfying soup.

I know this is not fancy with chopping and sauteing or anything remotely like that, but precisely because it was so easy to make I thought it worth sharing.Especially since I plan to make this again and may not remember what I did unless I write it down somewhere! 😉


1 bag dry lentil beans

1 can tomato paste (6 oz)

3 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

Cooking plus prep: 1 hour


Clean one bag of lentil beans using a strainer and place in a cookpot. Add 8 cups water. Bring to boil and then reduce, simmering without cover for about 45 minutes. Check periodically, stirring so does not burn at the bottom, add more water if needed (meaning make sure there is enough water to cover the lentils and keep them from burning).

At this point lentils are puffed and the water is reduced. Add  2 cups water, a can of tomato paste and seasonings. Stir and let new additions heat up, then add the spinach. Stir again and cover. Let simmer on lowest heat setting for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until broth is reduced to desired consistency and the spinach is thoroughly wilted/stewed (add more water during this simmering phase if you like more broth to your soup).

Now find a window where you can watch the snow come down while you eat!

~ Kristin

PS: I feel like the picture needs a note: I take down Christmas over New Years weekend, but I leave up my unadorned greenery and twinkle lights until January 8.