It’s not uncommon after traveling or completing a big project I feel a bit depleted. Ever feel this way? I am sure you do, most of us do even if we don’t always admit it.  

I have a little secret weapon though to get me back on the move I wanted to share with you.
 
I make “Lentils, Monastery Style” from “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances Moore Lappé. (I know – that’s real, old-school vegetarianism, right?)

My mom used to make this when I was a kid, and it was always one of our favorites — the cheese makes it feel like there’s a secret treat — and everyone I’ve ever made it for falls in love with it.
 
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Lentils, Monastery Style
(serves 4 as a main dish)
 
 
In a large pot, sauté 3-5 minutes:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 or 2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
 
Add and sauté 1 minute more:
1/2 tsp. dried thyme & marjoram
 
Add:
3 cups stock or seasoned water
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp. dried parsley)
1 lb. canned tomatoes
 
Simmer in covered pot until lentils are tender (about 45 minutes or an hour).
 
Add:
1/4 cup sherry
 
Have ready:
2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese.
 
To serve, place 2 tbsp. of cheese in each serving bowl and top with soup.
 
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It’s simple and hearty and you can improvise on this recipe endlessly. It’s very forgiving.

You can add sausage or kale or ham or more veggies or whatever else you’ve got lying around. You can switch out the cheese – I love to use Goat cheese – or skip the cheese completely.

Although, of course, I am from the Midwest and the phrase “skip the cheese” has never once crossed my lips.

Here’s to simple comforts —