This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Char, Megan, and Josie Landon, our three winners! You’ve been notified via email. Thank you to all who entered.
There’s a cookbook I want you to know about, because it is different from anything that is propped up on your bookshelf right now. Simple Bites contributor and Nourishing Days blogger, Shannon, has just released Simple Foods for Winter, a 58-page e-book containing 30 original recipes that emphasize real food and sustainable living. I’ve been cooking from it for a few weeks now, and each dish has been a hit – with grown-ups and children alike.
Simple Food for Winter not only contains easy to follow recipes, but practical advice on live food storage, cooking with dehydrated vegetables, and lacto-fermentation, that all-important immune-system boosting method of preserving. At the end of the post I’ll share a recipe from this remarkable cookbook and give you all an opportunity to win one of three copies, so keep reading!
Shannon boldly strides out in the real food realm, bushwhacking a path for the rest of us and demonstrating that nourishing food can be delicious and produced from your own kitchen. Her philosophy is simple: eat mostly what you can produce in your backyard; you’ll find she practices what she preaches daily on her website, Nourishing Days.
This cookbook is her way of sharing what has worked for her family in the hopes that others will be inspired to follow suit.
In Shannon’s own words:
“This book is a collection of the knowledge and recipes that help me nourish my family through the coldest days of the year. This is the food that warms us when we come in from the snow, keeps us strong when it is too easy to catch a cold, comforts us when the days are dark, and helps my babies grow when nothing outside possibly could.
This is the food you will find on our table from the first snows in December to the first thaws of March. It is nourishing, it is simple, and it is satisfying. And I hope you like it as much as we do.”
It is obvious Shannon loves food, and her creative approach to cooking, as demonstrated in dishes such as Pork Carnitas with Cilantro-Lime Spaghetti Squash, is widely apparent. I mean, when you grow most of your own food, you have to be creative come January and there’s a family to feed!
All Sorts of Soup
It’s more of a selling feature than a disclaimer when I state that many (OK, most) of the recipes in Simple Foods for Winter are soup and stews. Shannon is a self-proclaimed broth-lover and it is evident in her recipes. As soups are incredibly appealing during this time of the year, you’ll appreciate the wide range in the cookbook, as we have.
One of our favorite meals was a Cod Cioppini, a tomato based, fish stew, that was gentle on the tummy, satisfying and quick. It was also an excellent way to stretch a valuable protein, wild seafood.
Thai Chicken Soup was also a hit, with its delicious broth that was so satisfying. I also added rice noodles (my kids love them) and even tried it with shrimp instead of chicken. Each variation revived rave reviews.
Our favorite dish, though, was this easy French Lentil Soup. It features creamy lentils, sweet carrots, dried thyme and a bit of bacon to round out the flavor. It simmered on our stove in the afternoon and I couldn’t wait to serve it, although I was worried that my eldest, Noah (5) would not be a fan. After we convinced him to try a bite, he bent his head and gobbled up the entire bowl!
“You should pack this soup for my school lunch sometime.”
That was his only comment, but that is his top praise. I was a proud mama.
Recipe: Simple French Lentil Soup with Bacon
Take note that this recipe requires the lentils to soak for a minimum of 24 hours, so plan it for tomorrow’s lunch, instead of today’s!
- 2 cups French lentils
- 4 strips of bacon, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 cups stock or water ( I used organic chicken stock)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- Soak lentils in water for 24 – 72 hours, rinsing and changing the water every 12 hours or so.
- Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for about five minutes until fat has been rendered.
- Add onions and carrots and season with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until onions are translucent, about another five minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute further.
- Drain lentils, and add to the pot. Cover with stock and add thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until lentils are tender.
- Taste and correct seasoning if desired. Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche.
Shannon has generously offered readers a chance to win one of three copies of Simple Foods for Winter!
To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite winter soup!
Giveaway ends at 11:59 on Saturday, January 15. Good luck to all!