Come January in Wisconsin, we tend to get some peeks of spring, but mostly, it’s cold. And cold means cozy means soup. Right? This red lentil and veggie soup is special because it is actually really versatile. The lentils make it super protein-rich, but I would not argue with the addition of hot Italian sausage (cooked right after the leeks and garlic), but it can also be completely vegan if you use vegetable broth. Any combination of veggies would be great, but when it comes to tomato-based soups, the heartiness of kale is wonderful. As noted in the recipe, you can play with the amount of spices here depending on your tastes. Let us know if you decide to try out this recipe!
Red Lentil & Veggie Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium leek, cleaned and sliced (how to clean a leek)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
6 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
1 cup red lentils
2 handfuls torn kale leaves (about 4 large stalks)
kosher salt & pepper
In a large heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add the sliced leek and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Now add the bay leaf, cumin, chili powder, coriander and paprika.* Stir to coat the leeks, then add the diced tomatoes with the juices, broth and lentils. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to low and simmer 15-25 minutes, until the lentils are tender and have soaked up a lot of the broth. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired, as well as the kale leaves. Stir to combine and serve.
*A note on the spices: If you like foods a little more spicy, feel free to double the amounts of cumin, chili powder and paprika as well as adding a pinch of cayenne pepper. In the amounts shown, you will get the flavors of the spices, but not so much spiciness.
This time of year, the citrus is abundant and absolutely beautiful. And that means MARGARITAS! These cara cara orange margaritas are absolutely delicious and the oranges are sweet enough that you don’t need a lot of extra sweetener. If you are a die-hard margarita fan, you might notice the absence of orange liquer in this recipe and that’s for two reasons: orange liquer can be quite pricey and the oranges give you all the sweetness and flavor you need! When choosing a tequila for margaritas, always choose a silver tequila (not gold) and since you’ll be mixing, it is best to pick a tequila that is not too pricey, but that is high quality. We chose Hornitos and are so happy with the results! Clean and fresh. This recipe is perfect for scaling up into a pitcher for a fiesta! Salud!
Cara cara orange margaritas
2 oz. tequila blanco (silver) – we love Hornitos
2 oz. freshly squeezed cara cara orange juice (any orange variety will work)
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup* or agave
ice & kosher salt or sugar for rim
To salt (or sugar) your rim, rub either citrus juice or simple syrup on the edge of the glass, then turn upside down into a plate of salt to coat. Fill glass about 3/4 full with ice.
Place tequila, orange juice, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for about 30 seconds, then strain into your prepared glass. Garnish with a wedge of orange or lime (or both!). Drink!
*To make simple syrup, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 cup pure cane sugar. It will last indefinitely in your refrigerator.
Yesterday I was over at Beauty Bets where I did a contouring tutorial featuring BEFORE//AFTER photos using the Aesthetica Cosmetics Contouring Kit. I really can’t say enough good things about it, so be sure to head over there to check it out and read more about my experience.
I guess the folks at Aesthetica really like my face or the way I write, because they were nice enough to send me a couple extra palettes. I want to give one away to a lucky reader, so enter below! Winner will be announced on January 27!
If you simply can’t wait, or end up not winning the giveaway, be sure to use code BB50 for 50% off your ENTIRE purchase at Aesthetica! It’s good through Valentine’s Day.
Contest is open to US Residents only.
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