Lentil Soup (AKA Lean-til Soup) By Rachel Maria

Foster Care & Family

This is a delicious clean meal.  It is heartier than it appears.  The best part is that you can start with this as a vegetarian dish and then add in cooked meat for the carnivores in your household.  (i.e. Pork/Turkey Sausage, chicken breast, ham, or beef cubes.)

Recipe by Rachel Maria


1 Medium Yellow or Red Onion (Cut in 1/4 inch chunks)
3-6 Garlic Cloves (Chopped medium)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 Carrots (Chopped)
2 Celery Stalks (Chopped)
1 Tbs. Thyme Seasoning (or 2 fresh sprigs)
1 Tbs. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
8 Cups Broth or Water
1-2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (Optional)
2 Cups Dry Lentils (Rinsed Well)


* In a Large Soup Pot, add olive oil over medium-high flame.
* Add onion, garlic, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
* Add Carrots and Celery.  Continue to star occasionally for about 5 minutes.

LE Woman Lentil Soup
The aroma from the garlic, onion, thyme, and cumin will fill your kitchen with savory deliciousness
LE Woman Lentil Soup
See how the herbs and vegetables come together? 

* Mix in tomato paste.   Once again, stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

LE Woman Lentil Soup
I love the colors at this stage.

* Now add in your liquids.   Cover and bring to a simmer (for about 10 minutes)

LE Woman Lentil Soup
Here, I am using store-bought chicken broth which I combined with water. I didn’t have organic or home-made broth on hand. 

* Last, add the lentils.  (And, the tomatoes.)  Cover, and simmer over a low flame until veggies and lentils are soft.  (15-30 minutes)

LE Woman Lentil Soup

LE Woman Lentil SoupThe best part is you can use this as a vegetarian base and reserve a portion for the vegetarian before adding chicken, sausage, ham, etc.


EXTRA Ordinarily Yours

The TUB has Arrived!

The House on High Street

After a nice long relaxing (well, somewhat relaxing) vacation; Scott returned to High Street, today to “haul” a 400lb.claw foot tub up a very narrow and long stairway and into our soon-to-be Master Bath.

Thankfully, our carpenter and electrician agreed to team up for this massive project, that according to Scott looks easier than it is.  (Especially since all three men take up most of the narrow space in the stairway.)

Handmade Constructed Ramp made from lumber.
Handmade Constructed Ramp made from lumber.

They used a moving dolly and crafted a lumber-made ramp.  It took about one hour, as they had to hand-lift the tub beyond the first landing.

The width of bathroom is 6’5″.   The bathtub is a little over 5’5″.

Eventually, a window will be placed in the center of the wall.  This will occur after the structure behind the future window (the current kitchen addition roof) is lowered to make a walk-out over a sun-room.

The House on High Street - Claw foot Tub

Bon Voyage Pork, Cheese, and Chocolate!

Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

Ok, that’s it. I’ve had it. After 7 nights of vacation, a wonderful cruise in the Western Caribbean jam-packed (literally) with food, folks, and fun…I am 100% ready for detox. A food detox, that is. Don’t worry. I’m not turning anti-social or anti-fun. Although, I presume what I’m about to do will greatly improve my social and recreational lifestyle, significantly.

Dropping the Kitchen Ceiling

The House on High Street

Apparently, Scott does not want me to visit the House for a while.  According to him, I come up with new ideas which end up giving him more work to do.  Having said that, this project “Dropping the Kitchen Ceiling” was completed yesterday by Jeff and Scott.

Kitchen Ceiling 1

Originally, the ceiling in the kitchen (just like the rest of the first floor) was 12 feet from the floor.   Aside from the fact that our cabinets need to be a little taller to create a proportional room, we had a bathroom pipe installed (from the upstairs master bath) which would run across the back wall of the kitchen.  Most of you know…pipes in the house = Soffits!  I have nothing against soffits.  However, when a ceiling is 12 feet tall, I believe it makes better sense to simply (ok, not so “simply”) drop the entire ceiling a bit.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but I was never a fan of 12 foot ceilings.  I know.  I know.  It’s so Elegant.  Some people love it!  I just don’t prefer a room that is oversized.  I prefer warm and cozy, remember?  However, these rooms really are not that large at all!  They are just tall.  (Like us!)


Maybe that’s why this house was meant for us.

Anyway, Scott did all the work.  I’m just writing about it… Now, our ceiling is about 10.5′ high.  I like that so much better!  And even though I would like for the entire downstairs to have a lowered ceiling, I know where to draw the line.

Also, you can see in the back corner (to the left of the sunroom-to-kitchen entrance) that Jeff also framed out our utility closet.  I love closets.  And, I love shelves.  I love anything that keeps things organized.  Scott thinks I’m a nerd about cleaning and organization, but hey isn’t that a good thing?

Here is a picture of this room before any Demo took place.  (Plaster lathe removed; Wall opened up to Den; Windows soon to be replaced; ceiling lowered; utility closet; etc.)

Kichen Pre-Demo
Kichen Pre-Demo
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