It's official! My husband is on Christmas break for two whole weeks.
I am so excited!
You can obviously tell that because I used a ‘!' after I said that.
But it really should have looked like this:
I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!
That just speaks for itself. There is obvious excitement oozing out of that.
I've already promised myself that I will work very carefully at not micro-managing Stuart during his time off. Sure, I have lots of projects I could use those big, buff, strong arms to help me with, but he's worked so hard for this break.
And if he wants to pick his toes while sippin' on a dram of scotch and catching up on The Office episodes, well than so be it.
That being said, I know he's looking forward to having some more time with the kiddos. And I'm excited for the extra time we'll be able to spend together as a family. And fine, I'll be honest, I'm looking forward to having him here so I can squeeze in an extra nap or two.
What? Girlfriend likes sleep. It ain't no secret.
And speaking of sleep, since I've been getting less of it these days, my dinners and menu planning have been very simple. There isn't a ton of experimenting going on in the ‘ol kitchen – but that's okay. To everything there is a season, no?
This delicious recipe was a wonderful surprise, considering I made it off the top of my head with the few fresh ingredients we had in our fridge.
And a big thank you to our friends Kate and Matt, who blessed us with a smoked pork butt.
Now that's somethin' you don't get every day.
Pork Butt, Lentil & Kale Soup
You will need:
– 1 onion, minced
– 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
– 1/2 – 3/4 pound of shredded pork butt (a delicious pastured ham would be wonderful here too!)
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 bay leaf
– 6-8 cups of homemade BEEF BROTH
– 1 cup organic lentils
– 3 cups of chopped, organic kale
– 1/2 cup of chopped, organic cilantro
– Pinch red pepper flakes
– Salt and pepper, to taste
Step One: Heat up the olive oil in a soup pan. Add in the minced onion and saute for five minutes, or until soft. Add in the garlic and saute for a few more minutes.
Step Two: Add in the pork butt, bay leaf, and beef broth.
See this incredible beef broth? It's like jello! Talk about gelatin goodness. My joints are thanking me already. Did I mention it was made in an hour? REMEMBER?
Step Three: Hello lentils. Welcome to the party. We'll toss you in at this point.
There ya go. Your culinary destiny awaits.
Step Four: Allow the soup to simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. A few minutes before serving, add in the chopped kale and cilantro allowing it just long enough to soften in the broth. Ooh – and let's not forget about that pinch of red pepper flakes. Toss them in too.
And now salt & pepper to taste. And for the sake of all things delicious, please use a high quality, mineral rich sea salt. You will use half the amount of normal table salt and the flavor is so much richer. I promise.
Step Five: Serve! A healthy dollop of sour cream is a delicious addition. As is a fresh squeeze of lime juice.
Add to the meal a few slices of buttered, homemade sourdough bread and a few chunks of fresh pomegranate and you're in for a real treat, my friends.
A treat that you can go on enjoying throughout the week because this recipe makes enough for like eight people. And since there is only three of us, that means we'll be getting a few more meals out of this bad boy.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.