Simple Food for Winter e-book Giveaway (recipe: French Lentil Soup)

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Char, Megan, and Josie Landon, our three winners! You’ve been notified via email. Thank you to all who entered.
There’s a cookbook I want you to know about, because it is different from anything that is propped up on your bookshelf right now. Simple Bites contributor and Nourishing Days blogger, Shannon, has just released Simple Foods for Winter, a 58-page e-book containing 30 original recipes that emphasize real food and sustainable living. I’ve been cooking from it for a few weeks now, and each dish has been a hit – with grown-ups and children alike.

Simple Food for Winter not only contains easy to follow recipes, but practical advice on live food storage, cooking with dehydrated vegetables, and lacto-fermentation, that all-important immune-system boosting method of preserving. At the end of the post I’ll share a recipe from this remarkable cookbook and give you all an opportunity to win one of three copies, so keep reading!

Shannon boldly strides out in the real food realm, bushwhacking a path for the rest of us and demonstrating that nourishing food can be delicious and produced from your own kitchen. Her philosophy is simple: eat mostly what you can produce in your backyard; you’ll find she practices what she preaches daily on her website, Nourishing Days.

This cookbook is her way of sharing what has worked for her family in the hopes that others will be inspired to follow suit.

In Shannon’s own words:

“This book is a collection of the knowledge and recipes that help me nourish my family through the coldest days of the year. This is the food that warms us when we come in from the snow, keeps us strong when it is too easy to catch a cold, comforts us when the days are dark, and helps my babies grow when nothing outside possibly could.

This is the food you will find on our table from the first snows in December to the first thaws of March. It is nourishing, it is simple, and it is satisfying. And I hope you like it as much as we do.”

It is obvious Shannon loves food, and her creative approach to cooking, as demonstrated in dishes such as Pork Carnitas with Cilantro-Lime Spaghetti Squash, is widely apparent. I mean, when you grow most of your own food, you have to be creative come January and there’s a family to feed!

All Sorts of Soup

It’s more of a selling feature than a disclaimer when I state that many (OK, most) of the recipes in Simple Foods for Winter are soup and stews. Shannon is a self-proclaimed broth-lover and it is evident in her recipes. As soups are incredibly appealing during this time of the year, you’ll appreciate the wide range in the cookbook, as we have.

One of our favorite meals was a Cod Cioppini, a tomato based, fish stew, that was gentle on the tummy, satisfying and quick. It was also an excellent way to stretch a valuable protein, wild seafood.

Thai Chicken Soup was also a hit, with its delicious broth that was so satisfying. I also added rice noodles (my kids love them) and even tried it with shrimp instead of chicken. Each variation revived rave reviews.

Our favorite dish, though, was this easy French Lentil Soup. It features creamy lentils, sweet carrots, dried thyme and a bit of bacon to round out the flavor. It simmered on our stove in the afternoon and I couldn’t wait to serve it, although I was worried that my eldest, Noah (5) would not be a fan. After we convinced him to try a bite, he bent his head and gobbled up the entire bowl!

“You should pack this soup for my school lunch sometime.”

That was his only comment, but that is his top praise. I was a proud mama.

Here’s the recipe; may it also nourish your family during this dark and cold month.

French Lentil Soup

Take note that this recipe requires the lentils to soak for a minimum of 24 hours, so plan it for tomorrow's lunch, instead of today's!
Print Pin
Course: Soups & Stews
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 103kcal
Author: Shannon


  • 2 cups French lentils
  • 4 strips bacon diced
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 8 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 6 cups stock or water I used organic chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • Soak lentils in water for 24 - 72 hours, rinsing and changing the water every 12 hours or so.
  • Place a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for about five minutes until fat has been rendered.
  • Add onions and carrots and season with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until onions are translucent, about another five minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute further.
  • Drain lentils, and add to the pot. Cover with stock and add thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer on low for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until lentils are tender.
  • Taste and correct seasoning if desired. Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche.


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1053mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3905IU | Vitamin C: 5.2mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.6mg


Shannon has generously offered readers a chance to win one of three copies of Simple Foods for Winter!

To enter, just leave a comment on this post and tell us about your favorite winter soup!

Giveaway ends at 11:59 on Saturday, January 15. Good luck to all!

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. I made an almond, chicken, sweet potato, and greens soup this week that was yummy… it’s been added to my list of favorites~

  2. YUM! I LOVE SOUPS! My husband is the true chef in our family and He loves making soups. My favorite soup that he makes is a toss up between his she-crab soup and his leek and potato soup…both to die for! I have been loving and eating a lot of lentils lately, so I can’t wait to try this lentil soup this weekend!

  3. I tend to lean towards soups based on beef stock. I LOOOOOVE French Onion Soup and Pho, for examples!

  4. Gwen Gooda says

    Lentil Soup sounds delish!! Love trying the recipes found on your blog – never had one fail yet! Thanks so much – would love to have a copy of the e-recipe book!

  5. Any soup with mushrooms! Also, cauliflower soup with cumin. For a really rich carrot soup:

  6. I love soup but my kiddos only want canned chicken and noodle. Ugh. I love broccoli cheddar.

  7. hannah cook says

    i love pizza soup! i can never wait for winter for that! My hubby love butternut squash soup.

  8. My favorite soup is my vegetable beef soup…so simple…so yummy!

  9. I make a Minestrone that just smells and tastes like winter to me. Thanks for the chance to win!

  10. Toni Turbeville says

    One of my favorite soup recipes is linked here through comment luv — Barley Veggie Slow Cooker Soup. I love that I can throw it in the slow cooker, and I love the way the barley tastes and fills you up! YUM.

  11. I love all soups but my favorite is plain ol’ Tomato soup!

  12. A bit boring maybe, but summer or winter i cant go past plain old pumkpin soup 🙂

  13. Homemade potato cheddar soup… Yummy! We love trying new soup recipes in the winter.

  14. Jessica Hite says

    I am a vegetable soup kinda gal.

  15. Our favorite winter soup is a combination Indian masala/tomato noodle soup. I make a traditional masala, nice and spicy, and then treat that like an old fashioned tomato soup – add a bit of cream or a roux, and if it is a main dish, some noodles or a grain. It is spicy and satisfying at the same time!

    This cookbook looks wonderful!

  16. potato and lentil soups are our winter favorites!

  17. I found a super easy, super delicious Pumpkin soup recipe a number years ago and it is still at the top of my list! Makes for a comfy and cosy meal with bread after playing outside in the cold…. yum!

  18. My favorite is good old chicken noodle soup with homemade stock! Yum 🙂

  19. I love soups! In my house, as soon as October hits, we have Soup Night once a week. Its hard to pick a favorite, but the one that I can be the most creative with is my Whatever is Left in the Fridge at the End of the Week Soup. 🙂 I’ll roast a chicken on Monday, and make various dishes from it through the week (shepherd’s pie, enchiladas, wraps, etc. and by Friday, there isn’t much meat left to do a real meat-based dish. So, I boil everything that’s left until I have a fragrant, fabulous stock, strain out the bones and oddments, and toss in whatever veggies we’ve got laying around. Today’s includes: broccoli stalk, bell pepper, onion, carrot, celery, corn, peas, green beans, and sweet potatoes. There is only a little bit of each thing (all used in other dishes throughout the week), but added together with spices, salt, and pepper – yum! And its different every time, b/c the leftovers are different. Every week my husband declares, “This is the best one you’ve made!” 🙂

  20. Karen Albro says

    I just ordered some French Lentils, will be trying for first time. Thanks for the receipe! Would love the book!

  21. I LOVE lentils! As in love, love, love them! My Greek MIL makes a mean lentil soup that I adore! But I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  22. creamy chicken wild rice, but this lentil one looks yummy too – I’m for sure going to try & the cookbook looks like one I definitely need!

  23. I love a good french onion soup, and my kiddos’ favorite is tomato soup (if it resembles anything Italian, they’ll eat it!). Thanks for the giveaway – it looks like an amazing resource!

  24. I love creamy wild rice soup, but my standby is just plain vegetable. This sounds like a valuable cookbook to have on hand!

  25. Hollie Feickert says

    Our favorite soup is White Chili but we enjoy almost any type. We eat soup 3 to 4 times a week during the winter- so comforting to have the pot simmering on the stove all day long as we tend to lessons and chores and my husband loves to come home to a home filled with the fragrance of supper.

  26. You had me at Carnitas….

  27. My favorite soup has red potatoes, fresh greens, and breakfast sausage in it. It’s a chicken stock/milk base, so it’s not too watery but not too creamy, either. This is one of the first recipes that I made “on my own” (I’m 21, single, and trying to grow up a little, haha), and have only had positive comments on it, which has been very encouraging. (And which also goes to show that you don’t have to be a good cook to pick out a good recipe!)

  28. Butternut squash soup is so yummy! Too bad my husband and kids don’t exactly feel the same as I do 🙂

  29. Black bean soup if I’m making it, squash soup if someone else is making it. For whatever reason, I just can’t make a good squash soup.

  30. Chili is my favorite winter soup with warm buttered cornbread. There is nothing more satisfying and comforting on a cold winter night,

  31. I have gotten a reputation for being the soup lady – both for making and sharing it. Each year I donate 6 months of homemade soups to our elementary school auction, so I get lots of practice. It is hard to pick my favorite winter soup recipe, but I think it has to be the most recent one I made – Beef Barley with Mushrooms. I made my own stock w/ a hint of Worcestershire sauce and sun dried tomatoes. The soup has a variety of winter vegetables, and I even added in some pureed pumpkin. Now my mouth is watering. . .

  32. My favorite winter soup is butternut squash with granny smith apples. I could eat it everyday!

  33. Definitely my husband’s potato leek soup! Mmmmm…..

  34. My favorite is chicken broth loaded with veggies and noodles.

  35. Most of my winter soups that need stock are with turkey stock. After Thanksgiving, I debone the turkey and throw together all the bones with veggie bits and skins to make a ton of turkey stock. Living in Vermont, I don’t worry about freezer space, as I tupperware all the stock and place it in a large tupperware tub on the front porch… it stays frozen.

    It would be great to add some new soups and stews to the current menu. 🙂

  36. Ooooo…my surfer will love this recipe! Lentil soup is one of his fav’s. Right now I am in love with all types of soups, you name it I am trying it 🙂

    Sending you luv & hugs

  37. I love chili!

  38. I love soups and stews…beef stew, chili, broccoli cheddar, potato, minestrone…oh I could go on and on. This books sounds it would be right up my ally!

  39. I love the Nourishing Days website. Thanks for offering this book for a giveaway.

  40. Thanks for the recipe! I just love lentils (quick and easy)

  41. Oh, I love soup! We make many kinds around here, but it seems like the kitchen sink chicken soups (using whatever I have laying around) are always a big hit.

  42. any soup that is spicy, and without saying, can pack RIDICULOUS amounts of veggies in. YUM!

  43. cabbage soup. With turkey and good bone broth. yum.

  44. I love homemade chicken noodle.

  45. Tomato basil is my favorite soup, followed closely by potato. Soup is one of my favorite things about winter!

  46. this sounds really good – i’m going to make it this weekend.

  47. I must admit I am more of a stew gal. I love rich, thick hearty stews full of big hunks of veggies and meat. However I love pumpkin or squash soups. So hearty and nourishing.

  48. Christine H says

    ANY soup is my favorite! One of the best reasons to love winter!…

  49. We love soups in winter and it’s hard to pick just one favorite. Black Bean, Tri-Bean, 15 Bean, Taco, Baked Potato, Butternut Squash, and Lentil are all top picks that are frequently on the menu here.

  50. nopinkhere says

    I have been thinking about getting this ebook, so I’m glad to have one of the recipes to try.