Tag Archives: comfort food recipes

Lentil soup

We continue to be fighting cold weather and the flu here on the east coast. So my call to action is comfort food for strength. I think a hearty soup is the perfect answer.  I used the ham bone I had in the freezer from Christmas , I embarked on making a lentil soup that uses some of my favorite flavors, such as rosemary, thyme, red chili flakes, garlic and some dry sherry. It’s my mother’s lentil soup kicked up a few times for more flavor. I love adding just a touch of heat to the soup with the red chili flakes, and the sherry is purely for medicinal purposes! Lentils are considered a power food, it helps lower cholesterol, helps lower the risk of heart disease and it’s filled with antioxidants. So fortify your family with this delicious and warming soup.

From by the bay wishing you nourishing food memories!

blog lentil soup

Lentil Soup

Serves 4-6


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sweet onions finely chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 quarts chicken stock

1 ham bone with some meat on bone

1 pound umbrian lentils 

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup dry sherry


In a stock pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sauté the onions until soften. Add garlic and red chili flakes and saute another minute. Add rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves. Sauté until fragrant about one minute. Add the stock and ham bone.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat , cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour. Remove the ham bone, chop the meat from the bone and add back into the soup along with the lentils, salt and pepper and simmer covered another hour. Add sherry and simmer another ten minutes. Remove from heat and serve. 

blog lentil soup 2

Red Wine Braised Pork and Chestnut Stew

At this time of year, I find joy in putting some great ingredients together and letting them braise slowly in the oven. This is inspired by a dish I had once in a London restaurant. When I returned from my trip, I worked on recreating my meal. Over the years I have tweaked the ingredients. I believe this version is actually better than the original! I attribute it to the final ingredient added in this last version the juniper berries, it adds a nice herbal under note to the favor of the stew. On the next cold wintry night fill your kitchen with the warmth and fragrance of this delicate stew.

From by the bay wishing you warm food memories!


blog pork and wine

Red Wine Braised Pork and Chestnut Stew

Serves 4-6

2 ½ lbs cubed pork loin

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bottle red wine

2 bay leaves

4 juniper berries

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

15 oz whole roasted chestnuts from jar


Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour together flour with salt and pepper in bowl. Add pork cubes and coat well. In dutch oven heat both oil and butter, sauté pork cubes until browned on all sides. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Next add the red wine, bay leaves, juniper berries, sage and chestnuts. Bring to a boil, then turn off flame. Cover and place into the oven for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with noodles, rice or steamed spinach.