What can I say...winter is right around the bend. Skiers will soon suit up and head out to the hills, filling their time with snowbound bliss. These very same thrill seekers will develop hunger and thirst that's beyond control so I'll be there... rolling out the hospitality by the barrel full.

Soon I will no longer have the time to labour over savoury stews in the luxury of my own kitchen, taking the time to relax and enjoy the moments. So I'm cramming. I'm basically trying to buy time for later. Pre-preparing dinner for the cold months ahead as well as to avoid the nagging question, "what's for dinner"?

We've been hard at work filling our free time with cooking our favourite meals. We enjoy rolling out the comfort classics including shepherd's pie, pot pies and fruit pies alike...all of which freeze incredibly well.

In addition we bake off lasagna two ways, both meat and vegetables utilizing the bounty from our late summers harvest. Soups are also freezer favourites of ours. We normally portion the soup to feed 4 and we use mason jars to package them up. Remember to cool your soup to room temperature and leave a little room for the expansion that will occur inevitably during the freezing stage!

One recipe that stands out and stores well is a recipe Pamela was tinkering with during the summer months. She calls it Spiced Tomato and Lentil Soup... I call it tasty!

Check it out if you get the chance...Also, stay tuned to my coverage of the food at the Olympics.

I call it "Olympic Feeding style."

Spiced Tomato and Lentil Soup. Yum.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 lb. dry lentils, sorted and rinsed
  • 1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • handful of peas, frozen or fresh - optional

Directions:

In a large saucepan, on medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery (we call that trio "mirepoix") with a pinch of sea salt and sweat them until the onion is translucent.

Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, and lentils. Season with the spices listed above or sub-in some of your favourites... I sometimes use all-spice or turmeric. *Season lightly to start. You can always add more spice but you can't take it away once it's there! Do it to suit your taste buds.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for 35-40 minutes until the lentils are tender.