Sometimes you’re in the mood to impress everyone with a big show. You’re willing to caramelize the onions, braise the roast, thinly slice the prosciutto, neatly fan the tomato slices, massage the chicken until it feels good and ready, sweet-talk the turnips until they’re almost there, and commit other forms of foodie foreplay, all in the name of a meal that makes a name for you.
But sometimes, you want to throw some stuff in a pot, heat it ’til it’s done, slosh it in a bowl, swig straight from the bottle, chuck a roll at your loved one’s face, and call it dinner. You don’t care if it doesn’t make a name for you. Hell, it could give you a reputation for all you care.
This recipe falls into that second category, and it deserves to be posted here because it will, despite your lack of emotional attachment and the damage inflicted by a day-old roll, earn you praise and adulation. Or something.
Which naturally makes me think about the concept of “good enough.” Naturally.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” Something about that phrase always bothered Bad Mama Genny, even when she was WBMG (Wee Bad Mama Genny). There I sat with my BMGC’s (Bad Mama Genny Crayons) wondering if the BMGF (Bad Mama Genny Flower) I had drawn was “well” enough to please the proverbial taskmasters.
Oh, how many pursuits I would have dropped, how much fun I would have lost out on, if I’d waited alongside the well-behaved girls for everything to be perfect (risotto, for one).
The Boy and I ate this soup, enjoyed it thoroughly, and then, because we weren’t trying to be all exact about things, ended up with an extra hour to sit on the couch and cuddle while I massaged the dent that roll made in his head. I wouldn’t have traded that extra hour for anything–not even a soup that would make my good name.
An interesting reputation is good enough for me.
Spinach Lentil Soup
Makes 4 main-dish servings
16 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cups broth or stock (any kind)
2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (Trader Joe’s has a great vacuum-sealed lentils pack that provides just that amount; canned beans will work, too)
2 generous pinches nutmeg
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
In a Dutch Oven, heat the stock over medium-high heat until it’s about to boil. Add in all the other ingredients and stir well to incorporate. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked through and translucent. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.