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Saturday, February 4, 2012

You say you don't know how to cook?

Yes you do!

Almost all soups begin the same way.

 You need only 4 items;
onions, carrots, celery and a good soup stock (I don't expect you to make your own stock).

To 6 cups of vegetable stock add 2 cups of lentils or split peas and 2 to 3 smoked ham hocks.  Cook over low heat for about an hour or until peas become slightly tender. (Don't forget to stir the pot once in a while).

Cut up a handful each of  carrots, onions and celery into bite size pieces and add to the simmering soup.  Continue cooking for another 20 to 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare a salad of Romaine lettuce,  hearts of palm, whole small peppers and sprinkle salad with blue cheese.
Serve with warm crusty bread and fresh, unsalted butter.

Next week follow same instructions but omit legumes and smoked meat.

ADD a cut up chicken instead and at the end add a few of your favorite noodles.  Cook until noodles are al dente (done).

That's called home made chicken noodle soup. 

Serve a ripened pear with aged cheese for dessert.

This is only the beginning of your culinary adventures. 
Soon you will be preparing Lobster Thermidor. 

Think of all the accolades you will receive.  

Have a great weekend my dear Blogging Friends 



  1. Bon appetit and a wonderful weekend, Gina!

  2. Oh, you are so right, Gina!! It's Saturday, it's winter, and it's time for soup!! Except I'm using a ham bone...
    and Herbs de Provence!
    Now I have to go back and look at the gorgeous kitchen of yours!!!!!

  3. I made a pot pf yellow split pea soup with a leftover ham bone from Christmas, which I froze. Very delicious! I do make my own chicken and turkey stock, I have never tried beef stock, as I do love a good French onion soup with lots of melty Gruyere cheese. xo

  4. Perhaps I need to put on a pot of soup today. You've created a beautiful, tasty meal, Gina

  5. Yummy !! Gina, we're just about to have our soup now...Can you believe we're having very very cold weather here...Have a great week end, dear !

  6. And the same to you Merisi. I see flowers in Vienna. It must be much warmer than it is here. Gina

  7. Dear Dawne, Ham bones make great soups and of course, Herbs de Provence is a must. Still marvelling over your very interesting and beautiful photographs.

  8. Dear Barbara, Oh boy, French Onion Soup, my favorite especially because of all that lovely and gooey cheese melted on top.

  9. Hi Little Home and Garden, hope you put on athat pot of soup. Nothing could be easier than soup only sometimes it's stays around too long.

  10. Hi Lala, What kind of soup did you make? Hope the cold doesn't freeze your beautiful citrus trees.

  11. Gina your gorgeous images make me feel like I CAN cook!

    Art by Karena

  12. Oh...kitchen ESP has been in the air. How did you know that today I bought some dried green split peas, a large onion, some chicken stock, and that I already had carrots and a bit of ham waiting?

    This is definitely a great soup making time of the year. I will make my soup (some for now, some to freeze for later) tomorrow. While other parts of the country will be thinking about football.


  13. Of course you can cook, Karena. Start with a soup. When a pot of home made soup is cooking the kitchen smells good and everyone thinks you're a culinary genius.

  14. Hi Frances, Your're right. Why not cook a little extra. Soups freeze beautifully (except potatoe soup. Sometimes I also make pies from left over vegetable and beef soups.

  15. Hi Gina!

    So glad you are encouraging folks to cook. Begin somewhere, anywhere. Just do it! And making stock from scratch is amazingly easy and cheap.

    We've been trying different dried beans every week with different recipes- it's been fun to try all of their tastes. I hadn't cooked many beans before.

  16. Dear Ann, So many young women (and their mothers) don't know how to cook! If they only knew how easy and how rewarding it is to learn how to cook a few and simple recipes. You're right. "Just do it!"

  17. This is a beautiful post ... thanks for sharing. Hope you'll stop by my site to see the details about the new blog party I'll be hosting on Mondays. Anything goes, as long as it makes us happy.

  18. ummmm ummmmm! This soup looks wonderful! Love those gorgeous dishes!

  19. Hi Debbie, Thank you for your visit and lovley complimant. Yes, I will be stopping by your blog party. Thank you for the invite.

  20. Hi Martha, your lovely compliments made my day. Thank you. Hope you give this recipe a try, its perfect for this cool weather.

  21. You are probably too young to remember the "Stone Soup" fable. It was one of my favorites as a child, and I remember its lesson to this day: You can always make soup. There's always something around to make it! Good lesson here. Please mail me the goblets shown with the dessert! ;-) They are beautiful!!!!!

  22. Hello0 Alycia, Too young to remember, No. We have just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary.
    The green crystal "Roemers" were hand blown a hundred years ago in a small town of Zwiesel. I purchased them on a trip to Austria about forty years ago.
    If you check ebay Germany and look under Bohemian glass you might find similar.