First, let me reassure you you won’t become a Cordon Bleu overnight. So ease up on the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself to live the perfect confinement life immediately!

Your neighborhood fav restaurant is closed indefinitely, your grocery store’s shelves are at best half-filled with items you’ve never tried before, and Pea Pod, Prime, Instacart same-day deliveries are a thing of the past. You realize after a few days of social distancing, isolation, or quarantine that what you need are RESSOURCES, PATIENCE, and CREATIVITY!

If you happen to be like me and responsible for feeding the household, there are not enough hours during the day (or night) to adequately plan and execute 2 or 3 meals stress-free, and then have to start the process over the next day. Even for those of us who enjoy cooking, these dire times generate more stress than pleasure.

However, meals bring joy and become critical in days of confinement. Making varied, nutritious, and healthy meals day after day is not an easy task. My advice to you is making a little more each time and try to serve left-overs with a twist the next day.


…you have just raided your pantry and found a pack of lentils! Here is a quick, easy, and healthy lentil soup recipe for 2 servings.

Lentil Soup (For 4 People)


  • 2 cups of green lentils or mixed lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of light cream (or heavy cream)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper


  1. Peel the carrot and chop coarsely into small cubes.
  2. Peel the onion and garlic clove and chop finely.
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil, add the onion and garlic, and stir over high heat for 3 minutes. Add carrots and stir for 1 minute. Add lentils and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add the stock, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. *Depending on the desired thickness of the soup, you can add a little water half-way through.
  5. Check that the carrots are soft and remove the pan from heat.
  6. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix using a regular or hand-held blender until smooth. Season to taste.

1st Serving – Serve hot with chopped parsley and garlic croutons or parmesan crisps. Add a tossed green salad and voilà!!! * also works with split peas/frozen peas (cooking time is 20 minutes, not 30)

2nd Serving – (If you don’t devour it all!) Serve with chopped parsley, a poached egg, and Serrano ham chips!!!

Delightful Serrano Ham Chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 °F.
  2. Spread 4 slices of raw Serrano ham (or similar) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with another piece of parchment paper and a baking sheet to weigh down the slices. *If you don’t have another baking sheet, use a cake pan(s) to weigh down the slices.
  3. Cook at 425°F for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove top baking sheet and paper and lower temperature to 400°F for 2 additional minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and baking sheet and allow the slices to cool on the kitchen counter for at least 10 minutes to make them crisp.
  6. Break into pieces and add to soup at the last moment.

Keep these delicious ham chips for a few days in a sealed container. Try serving them with other things than this lentil soup recipe. They’re great with mashed potatoes, tossed salads, baked cod, or salmon!

Because these chips are quick to make, don’t hesitate to make 2 batches…they’ll disappear quickly!

About Nathalie

I spent my early childhood growing up in Paris and then spent very formative years living in the USA with my parents. After college, I returned to France and spent 25 years there, some in Paris and most in the Southwest of France.

Passionate about cooking and gastronomy from a very young age, I spent many wonderful moments in the kitchen with my two grandmothers and my mother.

After working for ten plus years in marketing and communication, I decided to combine passion and work by creating a cooking studio in Toulouse in 2008, which I ran for ten years.

I returned to the US about 15 months ago and hoped to pass on my know-how and love of cooking by going into people’s homes to inspire them to try new healthy and well-balanced recipes, tailored to their needs.


This post originally appeared in The Mazer Group‘s Luxury Listings newsletter. For more interviews, recipes, and real estate eye candy, subscribe to