Lentil Soup

• 1 onion, chopped

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 2 carrots, diced

• 2 stalks celery, chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 teaspoon dried basil

• 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

• 2 cups dry lentils

• 8 cups water

• 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed & thinly sliced

• 2 tablespoons vinegar

• salt to taste

• ground black pepper to taste


In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired. Top with shaved Parmesan cheese.


Sour Cream Cornbread

• 1/2 cup flour

• 1 1/2 cups cornmeal

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon baking powder

• 3 large eggs, room temperature

• 3/4 cup low-fat sour cream, room temperature

• 1/2 cup skim milk

• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 400°F Coat a 9” x 9” pan with nonstick spray.

Sift the flour, cornmeal, salt, brown sugar and baking powder together in a mixing bowl.

Stir in the eggs, sour cream, milk and butter with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not overmix.

Pour into the pan and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. The cornbread is done when a small knife inserted in the center comes out dry. Best when served warm from the oven.


Blackberry (and raspberry and blueberry) Upside Down Cake

• 2 1/2 cups fresh blackberries (12 ounces)

• 1/2 cup plus

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

• 1 large egg

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

• Accompaniment: vanilla ice cream

• Special equipment:

parchment paper


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line bottom of a buttered 8- by 2-inch round cake pan with 2 rounds of parchment paper, then butter parchment. Dust pan with some flour, knocking out excess.

Arrange blackberries in 1 layer in cake pan. Sprinkle berries with 11/2 tablespoons sugar and shake pan to help distribute sugar.

Whisk together 1 cup flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix at low speed until just incorporated. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk in 3 batches, mixing at low speed until just incorporated.

Spoon batter evenly over berries, smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until top is golden and a tester comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Run a thin knife around edge of pan, then invert a large plate over pan and, using pot holders to hold plate and pan together tightly, flip cake onto plate. Peel off parchment and serve cake with ice cream.

This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

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