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It is another magnificent Monday!  Can you tell I am in a good mood?  It is all because we just got back from a long weekend in the mountains.  Matt hit the slopes while the girls and I checked out the International Ice Festival at the Chateau Lake Louise. The weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and now I am home feeling relaxed and ready to face another busy week.  Here are just a few of the pics from our trip.

Speaking of busy, I wanted to share this lentil soup recipe with you because it is so easy to whip up after an exhausting day on the slopes or on a cold weeknight.  Lentils, unlike beans, do not require presoaking, and they cook in only a fraction of the time, while still being packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients.  This soup is the perfect thing to warm you up after a long day of playing in the snow!

Spicy Lentil Soup with Chipotle and Poblano

1 poblano pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1yellow onion, finely diced

2 large carrots, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon chipotle chilies in adobo, pureed

1 cup green lentils

4 cups vegetable stock

3 roma tomatoes, diced

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

First, place the poblano directly under the broiler, turning every few minutes until it is charred on all sides.   Remove the poblano from the oven and place in a brown paper bag. Fold the bag closed and let the poblano steam for about 5 minutes.  Remove the poblano from the bag, peel off the charred skin, cut the stem off and remove the seeds.  Finely dice the poblano and set aside.

In a large stock pot heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and carrot and cook stirring frequently until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, and chipotle to the pot and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Add in the poblano, lentils, stock, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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