We all have those times - kids have cried all day, hit other kids, screamed at you, screamed at other kids, and refused to nap. By dinnertime, you are exhausted and in need of a serious break.
The easiest thing to do is to flip through your take-out menus and actually give yourself a break.
1) You just did this 3 days ago (pizza night)
2) Face it, every day kind of sucks right now (life with toddler)
3) Your bank account doesn't need another hit
4) There is perfectly good food in the fridge
I know...the temptation is there.
Sometimes, I'll admit, I give in to it. But tonight I didn't!
2 tbsp Oil (butter will do...heck, any fat will do)
1 tsp Garlic (ok, if you're seriously desperate you can just use garlic powder. But do you have any ginger??)
1 Onion, chopped (no onion? What about leeks? Tip: cut big quantities of these things now while they're in season, and freeze! And, in a pinch, you can always skip the onion)
Spice (go crazy! Liven up a soup with anything, and try different combinations: thyme & oregano, cumin & thyme, basil&oregano&thyme&rosemary, cumin & curry powder)
2 cups Vegetables (really, this can be anything. But the best veggies for soups are clearly: carrots, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash, peas, turnips...am I missing anything?)
1/2 cup Lentils (or chickpeas, or black beans...any kind of legume will work. Just remember that some legumes require extra cooking time. I always prefer red lentils because they're so fast!)
3-4 cups Veg., Beef or Chicken Stock (you CAN do water here, and just add some salt for flavour, but it may taste a little bland)
Extras: these things are just for fun! Tonight I tried a few spoonfuls of diced tomatoes and 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar. You can top with grated cheese, sour cream and chives.
Start by heating the oil. Sautee the garlic, onion and spices until onion is soft. Add the veggies and legumes; stir, and then add the stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer until everything is tender. Add more stock/water if you see it getting low. Unless you want a stew, of course!