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    If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)  321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

  • Curried French lentil soup

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Cook time: 50 minutes

    Serves 4

    Cynthia Keane of Sacramento said she had the best French lentil soup at Ettore’s in Sacramento. She was hoping for their recipe or one close.

    Although we haven’t received Ettore’s recipe, Ruby Fidler of Granite Bay shares this recipe that may be a close match for Keane. This healthy soup is vegetarian, low fat, cholesterol-free and high in fiber.

    Note: If using red lentils cook 25 to 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes. You may use 11/2 cups fresh tomatoes instead of canned.


    6  cups water

    cup French green lentils

    1  yellow onion, chopped

    small yam or sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)

    2  cups small cauliflower or broccoli florets

    2  ribs celery, sliced

    One 14.5-ounce can diced salt-free tomatoes

    teaspoons curry powder

    2  teaspoons dried green herbs (Italian or French)

    teaspoon granulated onion

    1  teaspoon granulated garlic

    4  cups greens cut into bite-size pieces (like kale, chard, spinach, collards, beet greens)


    In a soup pot on high, bring water to boil with lentils. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes on a low boil. Add onion, yam or sweet potato, cauliflower or broccoli, celery, tomatoes (with juice) and the herbs and spices. Cook for 10 minutes at the same heat. Add greens and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more until yams or sweet potatoes and greens are tender. Serve as is or over brown rice.

    Per serving without rice: 231 cal.; 14 g pro.; 44 g carb.; 1 g fat (trace sat., trace monounsat., trace polyunsat.); 0 mg chol.; 107 mg sod.; 12 g fiber; 5 percent calories from fat.

The Mailbox: Readers search for recipes

Published: Wednesday, May. 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Hot cross buns, anyone?

During the Lenten season, Phillips’ Bakery (formerly at 33rd Street and Folsom in Sacramento) used to make the most magnificent hot cross buns. They were not the square six- or eight-pack that you get in the grocery stores and other bakeries.

Where can I get a similar hot cross bun or a recipe?

– Anne Kitt, Sacramento

Fried chicken for Dad

My dad grew up on Frank Fat’s or Luau Garden’s fried chicken. They are both very similar but no matter how much I have searched the Internet, I can’t find anything close. I would very much like to make this for his birthday, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

– David Lee, Sacramento

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