A Little Princess

Lentil Soup – A Little Princess Recipe

“…they removed the covers of the dishes, and found rich, hot, savory soup, which was a meal in itself…”

-A Little Princess, chapter 16

Lentil Soup - A Little Princess Recipe

In A Little Princess, when Sara and Becky find a feast waiting for them in their room, one of the items on the table is a delicious soup. Since this soup is described as being rich and “a meal in itself,” I knew it had to be something loaded with veggies and protein. Since we later discover that this meal was provided by “the Indian gentleman” (who is actually an Englishman who just spent a lot of time in India), I wanted to make a soup that had some Indian influences.

I chose lentils as the base of this soup, to give a nod to the Indian gentleman and to give the soup the richness described in the book. Root vegetables round out the simple flavors of this soup, while adding richness on their own as well.

I’ve tried making this soup with Indian spices (i.e. garam masala) as well as without it, and I prefer it without, so the recipe below reflects that. But, if you enjoy traditional Indian flavors, add a couple of teaspoons of garam masala to the mix to give the soup a warm, rich flavor.

Lentil Soup – A Little Princess Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils, dry
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Rinse the lentils and place them in a slow cooker with the 6 cups of water or broth.
  2. Turn the slow cooker on high, and cook for one hour.
  3. Add the vegetables, including the whole can of tomatoes with the juices, and cook for another hour.
  4. Add the seasonings, and cook for one more hour to allow all the flavors to come together.
  5. Serve with bread or rice.

I hope you enjoy this hearty soup. The flavors are simple, but satisfying. I can definitely see this soup being a meal in itself!

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for sales made through those links. Rest assured, this does not cost you any extra money, and it helps me buy ingredients to make delicious recipes for you 🙂

Good food is meant to be shared!

Homemade English Muffins – A Little Princess

homemade english muffin recipe

A Little Princess was one of my favorite books when I was a child. I loved being transported into Sara Crewe’s magical world. One of the most special scenes in this novel is when a mysterious benefactor arranges a delicious hot breakfast for Sara and Becky, seemingly by magic. They wake up in the morning to find the breakfast all laid out on the table.

One of the items on this breakfast table were “muffins.” There is no other description of these muffins in the book, but somehow I just couldn’t imagine anyone in Victorian England eating muffins like we imagine them today. So, I researched a bit about “Victorian muffins” and learned some really interesting things!

Muffins as we know them are a relatively recent invention. In Sara Crewe’s England, what they called “muffins” is what we would call “English muffins” today. In fact, when we hear about “The Muffin Man,” that is referring to a baker who carried around a basket of English muffins, selling them on the streets to passersby. That sounded a whole lot more authentic, so I set out to make my own English muffins in honor of A Little Princess.

I loosely followed this traditional recipe. Be warned that this recipe requires a total of about 12 hours of rising time for the dough. But, don’t let that scare you. The recipe isn’t difficult at all, you just have to be home basically all day to make it.

These scrumptious muffins are worth the wait, though! So much more flavorful than store-bought English muffins.

Homemade English Muffin Recipe – A Little Princess

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 packet yeast (not rapid-rise yeast!)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup cornmeal (or more, if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or oil

Directions

  1. Mix together the flour, salt and yeast.
  2. Add the milk, honey, and egg white to the flour mixture, and stir well.
  3. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours.
  4. Cover a cookie sheet with a thick layer or cornmeal. Make sure that the entire baking sheet is covered. This is to prevent the dough from sticking. I didn’t put nearly enough cornmeal on the sheet I used, and I had some problems, so the more cornmeal, the better!
  5. Portion out the dough onto the cookie sheet into about 12 little mounds.
  6. Sprinkle some more cornmeal on top of these dough mounds, and cover the cookie sheet with plastic.
  7. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 9 hours (see note at bottom about rising time).
  8. Melt the butter or oil in a pan on the stove on medium heat.
  9. Add the muffins to the griddle, and cook them until brown on the bottom.
  10. Flip the muffins over and cook until brown on the other side, too.

A note on rising times: The original recipe called for 4-5 hours of initial rising, followed by 12-42 hours of rising in the refrigerator once the muffins are formed. I just simply didn’t have the fridge space for that, so I adapted the rising times and temperatures to meet my needs, and the muffins still turned out great, but if you want to be totally authentic, follow the rising times in the original recipe!

Once the muffins are cooled, split them in half by running your fingers along the edges. You can toast them and eat them with butter, honey, or jam. You can also eat them plain, because they are just that good! I don’t think I’d ever eat a store-bought English muffin plain, but these are good enough to do just that.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission from sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Good food is meant to be shared!

Sara Crewe’s Bonbon Recipe – A Little Princess

bonbon recipe

A Little Princess is one of my all time favorite stories. I’ve read both the full-length novel and the shorter novella too many times to count, and I practically have the movie memorized. When I was a little girl, there was just something so magical about Sara Crewe and her tragic but beautiful adventures that captivated me. I think it’s her unflinching optimism, creativity, imagination, and belief in magic that speaks to my heart.

There is a particularly tragic and magical scene in a Little Princess book. Ermengarde, one of the wealthy girls who lives at the school, receives a care package from her aunt full of treats and goodies. When Ermengarde discovers that Sara and Becky, the servant girls, have been denied food all day, she sneaks the treat basket up to the attic so that they call all share in a feast.

Sara and Becky use whatever they have on hand to deck out the table for the feast. Old scarves, soap dishes, and tissue paper are transformed by magic into glamorous table settings.

One of the food items that Ermengarde shares with Sara and Becky are bonbons. This story was written in the early 1900s, so I looked up a traditional, old-fashioned bonbon recipe for this post. I found the perfect bobon recipe at Tori Avey’s blog. I think this recipe is just what Sara, Becky, and Ermengarde would have enjoyed.

Sara Crewe’s Bonbon Recipe – A Little Princess

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, melted chocolate, and other toppings

Directions

  1. Whip the butter and sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add the whipping cream and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
  3. Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours.
  4. Roll the mixture into small 1-inch balls.
  5. Roll the bonbons into your toppings of choice, and place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  6. Chill the bonbons in the fridge, then store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

There are many options to customize the bonbon recipe to your personal taste! I used rainbow sprinkles, or “jimmies” as they’re called in some parts of the country, and decorating sugar to cover the bonbons I made. Shredded coconut and chopped nuts would be a great choice, too. If you have a double boiler, or if you have the patience for a makeshift double boiler, you can melt some chocolate chips to dip the bonbons in, too.

You can even wrap the bonbon mixture around maraschino cherries or whole nuts to make stuffed bonbons.

No matter how you choose to personalize these sweet treats, you’ll end up with a delectable delight that’s fit for a little princess.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for any sales made through those links. Rest assured, this costs you nothing extra!

Good food is meant to be shared!