Celebrity Home Chef #17 and Get Ready For This Beautiful Tear Jerker and Great Recipe


Hi everyone! Today’s Celebrity Home Chef, Margaret LeDonne-Paterson’s story and recipe truly embody what Take Back the Kitchen is about. She is a mom and teacher in NYC by way of Baltimore, MD.

“I have a recipe that I think is very appropriate for you. It is healthy, delicious and extremely easy – very good for beginning attempts at making soup for neophyte home cooks. It is also a good choice because it is really connected to family. This recipe is from my husband Mike’s mom and is something Mike ate as a child. I love being able to share the flavors from our pasts (For me we just have some Cracker Barrel cheese and triscuits; for Mike we have all these Italian recipes from his mom.) Mike’s mom was a really GREAT cook. She truly was a celebrity home chef – everyone looked forward to her meals. Now that she has passed away, it is extra meaningful to make her recipes. When we make these recipes, we feel that she is not really gone.

Another note – something that was very meaningful for me before she passed away was being able to make her recipes and bring them to the nursing home. Since she was such a great cook, she was especially affected by the not so great cooking at the home. She was a really great sport about it, and made the best of what was offered. But it was really satisfying to bring her some delicious home cooked food, especially food she had eaten her whole entire life, and see her really enjoy it. (She learned these recipes from her father, who was also a great cook.)”

Marion LeDonne’s lentil soup

1/ 28 oz can whole Italian peeled plum tomatoes broken up with your fingers
1 large clove garlic
1 med size onion diced
2 – 3 TB olive oil

1 lb brown lentils
Water
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Grated parmesan cheese.

Brown garlic in olive oil. Add diced onion and sauté until translucent. Add broken up tomatoes and let cook 5 – 10 minutes. Add cleaned and rinsed lentils along with enough water to cover generously cover lentils. Add sliced carrots and celery. Cook for about 45 minutes until lentils are soft. Add more water during cooking if lentils get too dry. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese on top. Think of a great home chef – my mother in law, Marion LeDonne.

If you are feeling indulgent you can add some sliced pepperoni to the soup right before you eat it. It’s also great with some small pasta like tubetini or ditalini.

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3 Responses

  1. sounds delicious, I'll definitely try it.
    Love the story of daughter and mother-in-law; what a way to show how important older people are in our lives and how important we can be to theirs. It felt like a mini-death when we lost my grandma's family recipe for Chocolate Satan Cake! So if you have some family recipes, write them down, scan them, and store them safely!

  2. sounds delicious, I'll definitely try it.
    Love the story of daughter and mother-in-law; what a way to show how important older people are in our lives and how important we can be to theirs. It felt like a mini-death when we lost my grandma's family recipe for Chocolate Satan Cake! So if you have some family recipes, write them down, scan them, and store them safely!

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