Of sickness, Saturdays, and soup

I spent my Saturday alternating homework and housework. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for not crawling back in bed (I really didn’t have a choice since I put my sheets and blankets in the laundry while my coffee was steeping). But, hey, I might as well pat myself on the back for something.

I then spent the morning feverishly cleaning my post-plague house. When my kids are sick, the nurse in me imagines freshly sneezed germs swarming around me and landing on every surface in the house. I try not to breathe as they snuggle their feverish bodies next to me in my bed coughing directly at me as if my nose is a giant homing beacon. Since there are many of them, they kindly take turns being sick thus extending the experience. At long last, it’s time for the purging. I always feel better despite scrubbing the paint off the walls.

Today, I decided to throw dinner in the crockpot. I know myself well enough to know that, at the end of a day of cleaning, I don’t want to cook or even get dressed to go out for dinner. So, lest we all starve, I head for the crockpot. I have a chronic disorder that makes me unable to follow a recipe fully. I usually look at some recipes for inspiration then end up cooking whatever I wanted in the first place. Today was no different. I knew I wanted to use the leftover ham in my freezer and I had been in the mood for lentils so that lovely combo became my inspiration.

Splicing a few recipes together, I tossed it all in the crockpot and hoped for the best. Julia was tasked with making bread but unfortunately, her brother decided to have a meltdown while she was putting the ingredients in the bread machine and she forgot a few. Luckily, the ham and lentil soup ended up tasting fabulous so I didn’t miss the bread too much. “Yay for the soup win,” I thought!!

But once again, along came my children to burst my bubble. “What are we having for dinner?” they always ask. Ham and lentil soup. “What in it?” someone inevitably says. Really? Flamingo gizzards and coconuts, I’m tempted to say. Instead, I talk really slowly because it is the weekend and I presume their brains only function on school days. Ham and lentils, I drawl. Just then, Danny walks in quoting the movie, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, “Did you drop your transmission? It smells like lentils and desperation in here.” My shoulders sag as I realize that my lovely soup now can never be known as anything other than Lentils and Desperation.

And so, without further ado, I give you…


Lentils and Desperation


Lentils & Desperation Soup

2 cups dried lentils
2 cups carrots
1 cup celery (because that’s all I had)
2 cups onions (I used red because that’s what I had. I know this seems like a ton of onions but it tasted great.)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 cups diced cooked ham
1 tsp dried basil
¾ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper (This really was a generous ½ tsp because I love pepper)
½ cup tomato sauce (I used my homemade sauce that’s more like a marinara.)
64 oz chicken broth (or stock, whatever you want to call it)

Toss it all in the crockpot and cook for at least 5 hours on high (I’ll try 10 hours on low next time.)

(This fed 7 of us as a main dish with 1 bowl leftover, that I already claimed for tomorrow.)


I used this recipe of Slow Cooker and Ham Soup for my inspiration.