Remodeling and The Bean Soup

Leave a comment

Mixed Bean and Lentil Soup with Bacon
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This is a very easy recipe that you can leave and get things done. Once you have done the prep all you have to do wait.
  • 1 lb of mixed beans and lentils
  • 2 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 6 cups of stock(your choice)
  • 4 pieces of bacon chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 4 celery ribs
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • ½ box of frozen peas
  • 1 lime cut in half and separated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • dry herb mix- oregano, salve dill, medical chive, celery leaf, kale, parsley
  • (you can make your own mix)
  • Splash of red wine or beer or water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Chop up bacon
  2. Chop up onion
  3. Cut celery into ½ inch pieces
  4. Peel and cut carrots into ½ inch rounds
  5. Cut red pepper into ½ in squares
  6. Rough chop parsley and set half to the side
  7. On med to high heat put oil and butter in large soup/stock pot
  8. Add onion and cook till they get soft
  9. Make a ring on the edge of the pot with onions
  10. Add bacon in the center and let cook for a couple minutes
  11. Stir onions and bacon together and cook till bacon starts to get crisp
  12. Add stock, beans and lentils and herb mix
  13. Bring to boil and lower flame to very low
  14. Let simmer for 4-5 hours with lid on
  15. Last hour add celery, carrots and bell peppers
  16. Add beer or wine or water if soup seems too thick
  17. (this is if the soup starts to get to dry)
  18. You want some broth
  19. The last 15 minutes add the peas and half the parsley
  20. Save the other half for garnish
  21. Salt and pepper to taste
The beans and lentils can be any combo you want. Also I say 6 hours but the soup can be ready between 4- 6 hours. It just depends on how you like your beans. Adjust times accordingly



We started the remodel because Jason’s friend suggested it.  Not only suggested it, but had developed a plan.  Jason was all ears.  I heard about it second hand.  It sounded vague but promising.  So we headed to this warehouse in Greenpoint to get these colorful brackets that were the basis of this mini make over.  They were bright, but something about them and the ideas that were being talked about made sense.  We walked out with a bunch of them.  The plan was in motion. We stopped at a bar to discuss the rest of the plan as it existed at that time.  As things came together, salvaged wood shelving, the color scheme of the kitchen, things changed and evolved.  Next thing you know we are painting the ceiling terracotta/brick red and the inside of the pantry became canary yellow.

The apartment is in complete disarray.  So cooking is not easy, to say the least.  But the Lab must continue to experiment and make new food.  The latest is a mixed bean, lentil and bacon soup that could sit for hours as we continued to work on the shelving.  It’s a basic soup but with a few extras thrown in on purpose and also just for the fun of it.  We started with a bag of beans and lentils we found at our local Indian market.  You could easily replicate the of mix beans and lentils if you don’t have access to store like this.  From there it was what broth to use?  We chose a combo of beef and vegetable.  One, because it’s what we had available and two because given the chance I will always use broth over water.  For reasons that are obvious.  We also had an herb bag for soup that we found during our excavation of the pantry.  Also from the Indian store.  From there we added onion, bacon, celery, carrot and a red bell pepper. As the soup cooked and as I tasted it, it also changed. From seasoning, to consistency, to the acidity. I added half the juice and pulp of a lime.  I always have citrus around as it’s always good for such occasions.  It took the bite out the soup that I couldn’t help but wonder how it got there.  I thank my friend Regina for this trick.  She is a brilliant cook.

Four hours and a few layers of polyurethane later we were ready to eat.  The soup was amazing and though we aren’t nearly finished with the kitchen and the shelving, at least we finished another food journey that will be part of our cannon for years to come.  Now if we could just get the rest of the kitchen off the living room floor!

Goodbye City Life! At Least For The Weekend Anyway

Leave a comment

wafflehouse driving rooftopsunrise stove kitchen sidehome chopwood2 snake dinner2prep choppedwood breakfast1
breakfast3 breakfast4 fromloftbeddinner

We began our adventure in a car we rented for the weekend, buy information pills driving 14 hours each way. I’m talking about our recent adventure to Tennessee, symptoms where we hoped to soak up nature and live as one with the land.  As much as one can get staying in a cabin.     Of course we were roughing it, so to speak. The shower was outdoors, the stove was of the a camping variety, our water came from large jugs, the bathroom was an out house, the light was kerosene lamps and it was heated by a wood burning stove.  What else do you want from a cabin in the woods?  As it turned out, nothing.  It was perfect, peaceful and quiet.  Mother Nature graced us with wonderful warm weather.  It may have been November but it could easily had been late September.  We walked the land, marveled at streams that when it rains become dangerous rivers, chopped wood, went to bed early and rose with the sunrise, saw old friends and made some new ones, all while preparing and eating some amazing food.  We even drove into town to the local Piggly Wiggly to get supplies.

There’s something amazing about the mountains in Tennessee.  I grew up in a few different environments, one of them was the mountains in California and to this day, I don’t get the same feeling of peace as I do when I’m here.   It’s a place that you want to sit back take it slow do some chores and cook till you have filled your pantry with goodies and your belly with food.  Lucky for us we arrived just in time for a late lunch and a stroll around the property.  Our guide led us around and showed us some old homestead from early settlers and gave us a history lesson on who would have lived there before and what they would have farmed.  To me seeing history is always more fascinating then reading it.  When we were done getting the tour we took in the incredible sunset on top of the tool shed, and then it was back to the cabin to burn some wood and get cracking on dinner.   Grilled corn with sausages and a warm salad with a honey vinegar dressing.

The next day we were left to our own devices.  With our guide driving back to his home in Colorado we started the morning with breakfast  and a leisurely stroll.  We visited friends who lived nearby, catching up on their latest projects, chopped wood and  traveled into town for more supplies.  That night we slow cooked some beans on the wood stove, drank whiskey, listened to the radio and played cards.  Not bad for a Saturday night!!

Our last day we started it off with left over beans and eggs steamed over grilled onions and of course bacon.  After our hearty breakfast we took one last stroll said our goodbyes to the neighbors and headed back to NYC and our city lives.