Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

I have a handful of recipes that I am confident they will wow. The recipe that I have a solid grasp on how to make and what to modify to cater to whoever is joining us for dinner. This is one of those meals. When you make it, this is what will happen. Your guest will devour the meal. But after a first couple of spoonfuls, they will look at you and remark, “what is that spice? This is so good, but I cannot place these flavors.”

At this point, you have a couple options. Make them guess (they will probably say curry and you will laugh and shake your head). Say you’ll never tell. Or reveal it is cinnamon, ginger, and cumin. And that this combination smells and tastes heavenly.

But the point is, this is a great soup. It’s easy to make. It’ll impress whoever is at your dinner table. But most importantly, it’s gosh dang delicious.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, coined
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 dashes cinnamon
  • 2 dashes ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 6-7 cups of vegetable broth (can sub out for water)
  • 1 cup white wine (but can sub with more broth or water)
  • 1 cup kale, long shredded (can sub in spinach)
  • lime juice (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add olive oil to large pot and heat on medium heat. Toss in onions. Once the onions start to get soft, add in carrots and celery. Add in sweet potatoes and continue to stir periodically.
  2. As vegetables get soft, add in garlic. Once garlic starts to get fragrant, mix in cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and bay leaves. Add in lentils, dates, and liquid (broth/wine/water).
  3. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to slow, bring to a simmer, and cover.
  4. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Once the lentils are cooked, add in kale. Stir until cooked.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into bowls. In each bowl, top with cilantro. Squeeze a bit of lime juice into your bowl. Top with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

Source: Daphne Oz

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Cheesy Broccoli Toast

Like so many other Americans, I spent the day before 4th of July going to the grocery store to stock up on must-haves for grilling out tomorrow. Because there certainly isn’t going to be a holiday where I plan ahead and buy everything we need earlier than the day before 😉

Somehow I came home with a loaf of bread, English muffins, a French baguette, a ciabatta loaf, and a huge, round crusty sourdough. Apparently, carbs will be making a big appearance in our meals the next following weeks.

With that in mind, I tried out this new broccoli toast because I am determined to make sure none of this bread gets moldy before we get a chance to eat it. It was the biggest hit with everyone! Added bonus is it is such a straight forward recipe so it can easily be a weekday dinner. And we typically we have all the ingredients in our fridge. This will be going in our “make again” list.

Before the blanket of cheese


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • sliced white bread
  • butter
  • provolone cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cut broccoli into medium size pieces. Peel the steams so the harder skin is removed.
  2. Place 1 inch of water into a deeper pan with a dash of salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add broccoli into the pan and place lid on. Let broccoli steam for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain broccoli and remove from the pan. Take paper towels to dry out the water from the broccoli as much as possible. Then cut the broccoli into smaller pieces.
  4. Ensure that the pan is dried. Then add the olive oil and heat. Toss in garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. Add in the broccoli and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 3 minutes to well mix.
  5. Place broccoli mixture into a bowl. Combine in Parmesan cheese. Put aside.
  6. Line the bread on a greased baking pan. Butter one side of the bread. Place the oven onto boil. Then place bread into the oven to toast. Once lightly toasted, flip so the other side begins to toast. Once both sides are lightly toasted, remove from over.
  7. Add the broccoli mixture on each piece of toast. Layer a piece of provolone cheese on top. Put back into the oven on boil and cook until the cheese is melted-about 4 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!!

Very slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen

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