Guys, good news.

If you ever wondered exactly how far from the ceiling you can place a shelving unit before it becomes a fire hazard (and/or violates New York City fire code…since it’s really truly unclear just how much correlation there is between the two).

As of noon today. I’m your girl.

Seriously. I’ll be positively brimming with useless information about the do’s and don’t’s of fire safety.  Apparently there’s more to it than “stop, drop, and roll”.  Who knew.

(On a side note – someone should probably alert early education administrators about this.  They need to update their syllabi.)


You see, at least in NYC, there’s this law that at least one person present in a science lab at any given time must have this fire safety certification, with the penalty for breaking it being a fine. A very.large.fine.

In the past, the fire department has only done random inspections for this during the workday and since the head of the lab and a few of the seasoned lab members have it…it was a non-issue.  And then they announced that they were going to be doing weekend and after hours investigations.  So obviously the newer members of the lab offered to never stay past five or come in on Saturdays and Sundays…but somehow my boss just didn’t go for that. No idea why.

Long story short, I’m going to be spending two hours today learning about all sorts of rules and regulations that have nothing really to do with how not to set the lab on fire (because seriously…pretty sure a “don’t leave your bunsen burner on unattended” would have been enough).  Surely it will be equally as useful as that time I spent an entire afternoon learning how to do CPR.  And then promptly forgot it all the next day.


The best part of this whole ordeal is that I need to bring proof with me that I graduated from college.  Like…a copy of my diploma.

Because getting into and going through the first two years of medical school isn’t evidence enough.  Obviously.

And for that matter…how exactly does having a college education correlate with your ability to learn how to not set things on fire?  Unclear.  Very unclear.


As you can see I’m full of grievances today.  Rifling through every inch of your apartment looking for paperwork you probably never had to begin with will do that to a girl.

A night filled with that much clutter can be made better by only one thing.

Soup.  And fritters, in this case.

A warm and hearty lentil winter squash soup, to be precise, paired with what are essentially savory zucchini pancakes and a hearty slice of Italian bread.  No fire safety certification necessary.  Win.

This post is part of a virtual dinner party hosted by Nutmeg Nanny to celebrate the release of Faith’s new cookbook.  First up on the menu was these zucchini fritters!  Unlike other zucchini fritter recipes, which are more potato latkes like, these are almost more of a savory pancake.  While being equally as addictive.  Really, try not shoving them into your mouth by the handful.  (Especially after not being able to find either your diploma or your transcript amidst that mess that you call your apartment.)  I dare you.

PicMonkey Collage

Kabocha French Lentil Soup
Serves 4, adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 1 kabocha or other dark orange winter squash
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 5 coins fresh ginger, 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1 leek, sliced into 1/4 moons
  • 1 fennel bulb, medium dice
  • red pepper flakes or chipotle hot sauce, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 with a rack in the top third of the oven.  Cut the winter squash in half and remove the seeds.  Rub cut surface of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place, cut side down, in a roasting pan with the 1/2 cup water.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender.  When cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, in a medium saucepan, combine the lentils, ginger, star anise and water.  Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt.
  3. In a large pot, combine the olive oil, onion, leek, and fennel.  Add additional salt, to taste.  Cook covered over low heat until the veggies soften, 7-10 minutes.
  4. Remove the star anise and ginger coins from the lentil saucepan.  Add the lentils, lentil broth, and squash to the pan with the veggies.  Stir well and cook for 15 minutes or so, allowing flavors to blend.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste.

I am submitting this to Souper Sundays, hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.

Zucchini Fritters (Ejet Kousa)
Serves 4 as part of a maza platter or 2 as a meal
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Flair with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky, reprinted with permission.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3/4 lb zucchini, grated
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, minced
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil, for frying


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add in the zucchini and cook until softened and the water has evaporated, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Lightly beat together the eggs, flour, parsley, black pepper, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in the zucchini mixture.
  3. Add enough canola oil to a large nonstick skillet to coat the bottom.  Heat over medium heat.
  4. Drop the batter onto the pan in 1/4 cup scoops.  Fry until set and golden on one side, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip and cook until set and golden on the other side, about 1 minute.
  5. Transfer the cooked fritters to a paper towel-lined plate.  Cook the remaining batter the same way until it is all used up.
Check out these other blogs to see how their fritters turned out!
Brandy – Nutmeg Nanny
Amanda – Fake Ginger
Heather – Girlichef
Natasha – Five Star Foodie


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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79 Responses to Kabocha French Lentil Soup and Zucchini Fritters

  1. Um, that sounds like a pretty boring 2 hours… yikes! So when can I come over for dinner?!

  2. Man, that training does NOT sound fun! Hope it passes quickly. Maybe you should bring some of these zucchini fritters to eat during the training…at least then your mind can be focused on something fun and delicious and not boring in the least 🙂

  3. I’ve had that lentil soup bookmarked for ages!!! It looks similar to the one I just posted except mine had chickpeas and used fennel instead of star anise. But mine was fabulous and I bet yours is, too! So many squashes, so I will be bound to make it. 🙂

    Have fun learning about fire safety, my dear! 😉

  4. Christine says:

    Some governmental rules just bowl me over. Some job in the dark past required that an entire dept. take a fire safety class. One year it was the advertising dept. What if we were all gone and a fire broke out in another department? Crazy. Hope it’s not too boring. The recipe looks yummy, almost like a porridge vs. a soup. Your fritters made me think of hash browns…maybe for breakfast…hmm?

  5. daphne says:

    the mystery of red tape hun.
    On the bright side, those fritters looks amazing! I thought I could spot some haloumi cheese in it but looking at your ingredients,.. I was wrong. Oh dipping those fritters into the soup.. comfort!

  6. london bakes says:

    Do you get any cash for it? The fire wardens in our office get something like $200 a year for the privilege of going through the training and shouting at us when there’s a fire alarm (which is almost every day at the moment).

    Love the idea of these fritters!

  7. bellini says:

    Both of tese dishes sound very comforting to me today. I log for the glut of zucchini I had from my garden

  8. Danielle says:

    I am loving all your squash recipes this week – this is another one I am pinning!

  9. kelsey says:

    I’m feelin those fritters.

  10. Lynn says:

    The soup and fritters both look marvelous!

  11. Your fritters look fantastic!

  12. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, Lentils are a favorite of mine not to mention zucchini fritters. The bread you chose is after my own heart. Therefore, a little seasoned olive oil to dip the bread in and the lentils and fritters and I am happy. blessings my dearest. Catherine xoxo

  13. Beth says:

    Seriously, those fritters look incredible. And so glad to hear about your fire safety training. Enjoy!

  14. Faith says:

    I am so, so happy you’re participating in this, Joanne. Honored, actually, and it means more to me than I can say. Thank you so much.

    So glad you enjoyed the fritters! Bet it was an incredible meal with this delicious soup!

  15. Lora says:

    Wow. A lovely warming Fall meal. Love!

  16. Pam says:

    Have fun learning about fire safety…

    The soup looks so thick, hearty, and comforting and the fritters just make me drool. YUM.

  17. Katerina says:

    It’s going to be fun! Don’t be prejudiced! The soup and fritters make the perfect combination of flavors!

  18. Ruth Daniels says:

    Great post. I want everything except the fire drill

  19. I always need shelves up, but I’m just not the kind of lady who can figure it out. It stinks!! Please move to Canada. I need a marathon running, good cook, shelf putter-upper, friend.

  20. Eileen says:

    Kabocha squash and lentils sound like they’d make one of the most warming soup ever. Perfect fall food! And hey, safety certification isn’t so bad–you’ll be that much more employable later, right? (Not to mention that you can keep your lab from burning down.) 🙂

  21. Shannon says:

    ha. a couple of weeks ago i lost two hours of my life to safety training… reminded me i need to get out of here before i have to do it again 😉 at least a bowl of this should help get you thru training! looks delish 🙂

  22. Mmm, that soup looks great. I’m hoping it will be super chilly when I get back from my honeymoon in 2 weeks, and this soup will be perfect! I suppose fire safety is good to know in the kitchen too…although I think, as you said, it’s pretty self explanatory. I think they should just equip you with a fire extinguisher and call it a day 😉

  23. UGH. The random beaurocracy of lab-life. #notglam. i’m sorry. Super frustrating. At least your food looks super tasty 🙂

  24. Amy says:

    You’re missing the silver lining, my friend. You get to be with hot firemen. Or is that just at my local station?

  25. Hotly Spiced says:

    You do tell a good story, Joanne. We have so much red tape in our countries now, it’s a wonder we get anything done. My husband’s been in his career now for 20 years, but every year he has to take a few days off, pay for expensive courses with money we don’t have, to re-learn stuff he’s done on a daily basis for two decades. If you don’t waste your time and your money on these courses they take away your registration. It’s a bloody nonsense. Also…a girl I swim with is running in the NY marathon. It’s her first one and she thinks she will take 4 hours to complete it. She’s leaving here next week for the long flight and is staying at the Waldorf (I think). Anyway, if you think of it, do say ‘hi’ to Mimi! xx

  26. Those fritters look perfectly cooked. I’ve been meaning to try out zucchini fritters!

  27. Joanne, that soup looks so chunky, almost like a stew – I want some! And those crispy edges on the fritters are awesome. I can’t wait to make those!

  28. Debbie says:

    The zucchini fritters are calling my name! I hate having to look for things that I haven’t seen in ages……it so frustrating. I work at a local hospital here in northen Va. and we had the fire inspector come into our office (if you can call it that) and complain to us about paper Christmas decorations hanging from the ceilings. Keep in mind we had no fire alarm in our office at that time and no paging system. And we worked in the basement with the back exit locked…..Totally insane!

  29. I just love zucchini fritters! Your’s look so good!

  30. I love that you need proof of your diploma! And sorry about the whole lab situation. On the hand, this soup and these fritters look amazing! I love the pairing, and I’m just falling in love with lentils so I definitely bookmarked this to me “to-make” list!

  31. Dining Alone says:

    That sounds mind numbing and totally boring. BUT I know who to come to with all my fire safety questions 🙂

  32. The fire safety class does not sound like fun! We have classes at work for Earthquakes. It always freaks everyone out!! Your soup looks and sounds amazing!

  33. Faith’s fritters were yummy 🙂 And your kabocha lentil soup looks so healthy and delicious too!

  34. Jeanette says:

    Love this combination of a hearty lentil soup with the Zucchini Fritters – they are highly addictive! I’m going to make another batch next week for some friends. Having a blast trying recipes from Faith’s upcoming cookbook.

  35. Tonette says:

    This looks WONDERFUL…Zucchini fritters; who knew?Thanks.

  36. Johanna GGG says:

    Soooooo maybe there is a fire training for dummies and a fire training for graduates – though in my experience – the brightest researchers that I have worked with certainly aren’t the ones I would want about in case of a fire – they would be trying to contain so much other stuff in their head that there would be no room for the fire – their PA would have to deal with that!

    Anyway, yummy fritters and soup – delicious flavours in the soup

  37. I think I nees to cook this tomorrow!! Looks awesome.

  38. Simply Life says:

    I have NO clue how you study, spend time in a lab AND cook all this delicious food and then blog about it! you are truly amazing! I’d love to see a “day in the life” post! do you sleep? 🙂

  39. Katie says:

    I hope the certification class went OK! I wonder the same things as “Simply Life” above me–how in the world do you find the time to do this all? This soup looks fantastic, and fritters too! Wow!

  40. A hearty and tasty bean stew with pumpkin. Well done!

  41. That Girl says:

    I picture you with a giant yellow slicker and helmet. When do you get your dalmatian?

  42. Kari says:

    Oh, how frustrating! Foolish rules (especially the diploma one…I mean, really!). I’ll take these dishes and skip the fire training if that’s alright with you 😉

  43. Guru Uru says:

    Wow those rules sound so weirdly unnecessary! I would skip it and eat this all day my friend 😉


  44. That sounds like one of thos “useless” fire training I had to go through some years back. at the end we had to redo it because the austrian government had brought out a new updated rule…

    At least u got your comfort lentil recipe. Those are my favorite lentilles because they need little soaking time and I am a forgetful person when its about soaking beans etc.

    Love love love your recipe and the ingredients and the fritters r just genius Joanne!

  45. I’m glad to see the use of kabocha squash – it’s so delicious and people don’t seem to use it as much as other winter squash.

  46. Both of these sound absolutely fantastic! 🙂 Grrr, I feel your pain with the paperwork. I’ve felt equally frazzled trying to track down documents and paperwork for my visa and it is a bugger!!

  47. Tandy says:

    they must be operating on Africa logic, where you can be a Doctor without a degree LOL 🙂

  48. I’d to grab one of those fritter, nice along with the soup!

  49. You know, I can hardly ever find kabocha squash – is that weird? And I actively search it out. Hmmm. Love the sound of this hearty, comforting soup. And your fritters turned out fantastic. Tasty meal!

  50. JasmyneTea says:

    Ooooh I love savoury fritters, this looks divine!
    I’ll have to give it a try – I made your creamy spinach spaghetti the other day and it was gorgeous!

  51. Monet says:

    Oh girl, I hate those types of training. When I worked for the government…they happened ALL the time. But at least you can dream up some more recipes for us while you’re muddling through the class! This looks beautiful, as always!

  52. cindspectus says:

    Yum, those fritters look so good, thanks for linking to the cookbook they’re from, I’ll have to check out more of their recipes!

  53. The things you post make me wonder if I could go back to being a veg again and not miss the meat–they’re all so beautiful and tasty! Maybe I could just do like, half the week veg half the week not, or, something. I don’t know.

    Also, this post made me think of the Mitch Hedburg joke that goes “if you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit!”

  54. Sippity Sup says:

    You do vegetarian so darn luscious. GREG

  55. Sippity Sup says:

    You do vegetarian so darn luscious. GREG

  56. narf7 says:

    So thick and delicious that “Stoop” might be a more appropriate name for this heavenly looking concoction…fritters to you say? Looks like Saturday nights tea for me! Thank you for this delicious looking recipe 🙂

  57. grace says:

    frittering anything is always a good idea. i’m a big fritterer. if i don’t know what to do with it, it will be frittered. 🙂

  58. I love it! What a creative and innovative pairing–it is like Julia Child with a healthy, vegetarian twist. (Julia Child meets Jane Brody, perhaps?) Although I think if the fire safety people saw Julia Child coming with a blowtorch, they’d probably run. Perhaps the course will inspire you to make crepe suzettes?

  59. Kelsey says:

    I think you should just have the fire safety people look at your blog. Tell them you managed to make ALL that food without setting your apartment on fire. Think they’ll go for it? What if you bring cookies?

  60. i love this combination! this is food that is definitely right up my alley!!! 🙂

  61. teresa says:

    guh, the trainings! osha (sp?) and hippa (again sp?) all a pain.

    luckily you have an amazing warm plate of delicious food to get you through it. this all looks fantastic!

  62. “only you can prevent forest fires.” lol, sorry for the randomness, it just made me think of that. I find that all my old syllabi are good for scrap paper later on, lol. I LOVE how we can see the contrast of the pillowy bread against your crispy, golden fritters. YUM!

  63. Gwen says:

    Wait. You forgot how to do CPR? Geesh Jo! 😉
    I think I would pull my hair out if I had to sit through a fire safety class. Glad you pulled through.
    How was I not informed there was a fritter party? Love my fritters. Lentils of course are another of my favorite foods so you made my life really simple in regards to my menu planning for next week.

  64. Reeni Pisano says:

    Just bought my first kabocha of the season today – can’t wait to turn it into something warm and delicious like this! Zucchini fritters – one of my favorite things on Earth. Hope your training was painless!

  65. I’ve been searching for kabocha everywhere! No luck though. 🙁 Your fritters look delicious!

  66. Cathleen says:

    Hahah, you are so knowledgeable! If ever I have a question about anything fire related, you’ll be the first person I’ll ask 😉
    Now these fritters look crazy addicting! I’m a little scared to make them to tell you the truth

  67. Kevin says:

    What a tasty and healthy sounding soup! I do not use kabocha nearly enough!

  68. I love zucchini fritters and lentil soup is one of my favorites too. I’ve never used a kabocha squash, though!

  69. Laura says:

    Ha! Gotta love bureaucracy! Great looking meal, I am off to check out the cookbook…

  70. I seriously don’t understand why they make lab workers do safety training when most people (like myself) just forget it all the next day. Plus, I don’t see the point since, at least in my experience, everything I need to know about safety is learned on-the-job. Anyways, hopefully you made it through without dying from too much boredom :P!

    This meal looks so prefect for a winter lunch :D!

  71. I’m seeing zucchini fritters everywhere. I am going to have to make these for lunch or I won’t be able to get them off my brain!

  72. Chris says:

    Well isn’t that fitting? October is National Fire Safety Month. I like zuke fritters, they can be used so many different ways or just eaten as they are. I like the idea of a zuke fritter po’ boy with a sriracha mayo. And damn, I have no zucchini down stairs.

  73. Danielle says:

    Hey Girl – I featured this soup in my Weekly Bookmarks on Saturday!

  74. Kabocha and lentils–what could be better?! And those fritters look really tasty too. 😉 Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays this week.

  75. Gotta love those mandatory trainings. (not) I think I could live on lentils- this is a wonderful soup to go with Faith’s delicious fritters. 🙂

  76. […] One year ago…Kabocha French Lentil Soup and Zucchini Fritters […]

  77. […] 28 years not knowing how lovely it is.  I made it into a soup with leeks and fennel following this recipe I found on Pinterest.  This will be made many more times in the near future as it makes a […]

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