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 LOVE a good pot of chili….or potato soup….or beans & ham….I just love winter foods! 🙂

  2. One of my favorite winter soups is some variation of spicy sausage, kale and white beans, with other veggies tossed in in a cream or broth base. So yummy and warming.

  3. My latest favorite soup is a thick black bean with tangy white vinegar added at the end.

  4. My favourite winter soup is anything with lots of chunks of potatoes in it. Mmmmm potatoes!

  5. mmm… chunky vegetable stew!

  6. When I was growing up, soup was always being made at our house. Soup is one of my favorite things to eat even today.

  7. My favorite winter soup is beef barley.

  8. Jenny Ayoub says

    Soup is one of my favorites! I have to many to pick but I love veg soup with left over shredded beef, my grandmother’s potato soup.

  9. This winter I can’t get enough of a peanut-turkey-sweet potato-curry combo that is just this side of divine. I would also echo the comments of anything combining kale, beans, and broth.

  10. My favorite is just like this except I use celery and don’t add bacon…I’ll give this a try, bought bacon today~ THANKS

  11. Either a chili or what I call leftover soup…basically you just take the leftover chicken or turkey and put it in a giant pot with some broth, potato, veggies and then season with whatever fresh herbs are on hand. Sometimes I may add some rice or if we don’t have potatoes I may put in some pasta.

    I could probably use some variety though and this book sounds fantastic, the Thai Chicken soup is especially intriguing.

  12. Carrie Cotton says

    Would love this book! Our favorite soup is my husband’s Venison vegetable soup. The secret is a whole bulb of garlic, Yum!

  13. Love soup in the winter! Lately I’ve been loving some almond butter chili ala Heather Eats Almond Butter!

  14. I make at least two kinds of soup a week, and I am just feeding my little self! My current favorite is a curried lentil soup that gets finished with lemon juice–it is so flavorful, warming, and comforting!

  15. My fav winter soup is something we’ve made since I was a little girl and it’s very similar to your French lentil soup. I’m Mexican so we make our soup with pinto beans. There are a few small differences. We add a cheese rind to the simmering broth and add cilantro and some chopped onion to garnish, maybe queso fresco if we have any available. But other than that its the same ingredients and procedure as your lentil soup.

    Thanks for posting you got me craving lentils. Cheers.

  16. We are in need of some new recipes, especially winter ones to warm us up.

  17. Right now….Sinigang… a yummy sour soup from the Philippines

  18. I love Creamy Chicken and Artichoke soup. It’s a homemade version of the one at the Cheesecake Factory.

  19. Soup!!! I love all kinds of soup! potato soup, cabbage soup, chicken soup, so many soups nourish us during the long dark nights of winter and beyond. But one soup that I expecially love in made with winter squash. Roasting butternut squash with onions or shallots, blending it with herbs in a great homemade stock (the secret to good soup, I think), then topping it with croutons or (better yet) slices of sage crisped up in a frying pan. A burst of summer warmth anytime!

  20. Lori Brown says

    I love all soups but my most favorite is Chicken tortilla soup in the winter….yum..

  21. Spicy, rich chili-heavy on the chunks of beef, light on the beans. Or beef stew slow cooked in a dutch oven, with bits of bacon, garlic, onions, peas, and green beans. And always enjoyed with some type of homemade bread. Uff da! I love winter on the frozen, wind-swept prairie!

  22. WE love soup! French onion, broccoli and cheese, chicken noodle, anything! Thank you!

  23. mmm, my favorite winter soup is my mom’s potato!

  24. My favorite soup is sausage tortellini soup! Yummy to the tummy.

  25. great giveaway!

  26. Stephanie L says

    My favorite is also lentil soup with a dollop of coconut cream and fresh chopped cilantro from my indoor “garden”

  27. Favorite winter soup is any sort of potato soup or corn chowder!

  28. My favorite winter soup is Creamy Cheesy Potato. It’s so comforting!

  29. I love lentil soups, and I also just made Brazilian Black Bean soup from one of Mollie Katzen’s books (Moosewood, maybe?)

  30. I love split pea soup or clam chowder in the winter. Both of them smell divine when cooking and at this time of year I need something rich and hearty!

  31. I need to start eating healthier, and i am looking for healthier recipes to make. I look forward to winning this!

  32. Im from Mexico, and a very maxican and delicious soup is the one called “tortilla soup”. If you,as a cooker, make the right traditional recipe youll get a “crunchy” well spiced soup. i just love it! i think everybody who can get some tortillas should try this soup.

  33. jessica smith says

    one of my favorite winter soups is chicken vegetable chowder – made with homemade broth, organic chicken chunks, real milk and some sprouted whole-wheat flour to thicken – add in some yummy veg like broccoli and mushrooms, spinach or kale, onions and garlic and don’t forget the fresh thyme! i haven’t tried it with sweet potato but i bet that would be a nice addition. very warming and satisfying.

  34. Alison Cromie says

    My favorite soup is a new recipe we just found. Ginger Carrot. It is amazingly flavorful.

  35. We have so many favorite soups it’s hard to choose. Probably egg-lemon chicken soup. The texture from mixing the eggs in the broth is amazing and the lemon flavor makes it special.

  36. This looks delicious! My favorite winter soup is a chicken and white bean chili. Yum!

  37. One of my favorite soups is one that we can’t have any more unfortunately (off legumes) and one I noticed was the first comment: spicy sausage, white beans, kale, homemade chicken broth and garlic among other things. So now I just make it for new moms. 🙂

  38. Naomi Jones says

    My favorite winter soup is vegetable soup.

  39. Chili!

  40. one of my favorite winter soups is pumpkin soup.

  41. My favorite winter soup changes every time because I don’t use a recipe. 🙂 I save all of our ends from veggies for stock (mushroom and broccoli stems, leftover bits of onion, carrot ends, etc.) in the freezer and when the bag is full I dump it in a big pot full of water with some herbs and seasonings and cook it into broth. Then I strain it and add whatever we have on hand, generally lots of potatoes, onions, various veggies, etc. and some organic “Better than Bullion” and a drizzle of olive oil plus sea salt, turmeric and whatever seasonings sound good. When it’s all tender I mash it in the pot with a potato masher and it makes it very thick and stew-like. I often toss in lentils or broken wild rice (both of these cook relatively quickly) for extra nutrients too. It costs pennies, is healthy and is perfect for a cold winter night. 🙂

  42. I have a recipe for a chicken and barley soup that is wonderful. It has lots of veggies and most of my family loves it.

  43. Hmmmm, my favorite winter soup is chili. Nothing fancy, just beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices. Yum.

  44. My favourite is a classic potato leek soup. It’s just so comforting. This lentil soup sounds wonderful, can’t wait to try it.

  45. I recently made a minestrone in my slow cooker, and decided it’s a new fav! It was packed with nutrients and taste, and warmed me right up on a very chilly day. I’m having it again for lunch tomorrow!

  46. I honestly love soups and stews and typically make a pot full every weekend for my lunch at work right now my favorite is a winter vegetable chili.

  47. Funny, I was just looking for a good lentil soup recipe this morning! Hope I win!

  48. My favorite kind of soup to make during the winter is what I call my refrigerator soup. I take bits and pieces of all the leftover veggies in my fridge and slowly cook them together to make a chunky, brothy veggie soup that is a bit different every time I make it depending on what’s in the fridge!

  49. Chicken Enchilada Soup, with homemade tortillas.

  50. Potato and leek soup, with carrot……so comforting!