Today, I’m happy to announce a wonderful book giveaway. In my recent post, Family Traditions, I wrote about the importance of traditions and briefly touched on the numerous benefits they provide to families. For one, traditions experienced during childhood can not only help to create wonderful memories, but they also help people become happier and emotionally healthier adults.

As I would like to create memorable traditions and rituals in my home for everyday living and special occasions, I’ve been looking for and considering a variety of ideas for traditions to incorporate into my family life. While at a visit to my local bookstore, I was happy to come across The New Book of Family Traditions, by Meg Cox. It is a wonderful resource as it is filled with practical tips and creative ideas. It’s a great book to add to any family library. Below are comments about the book from the author’s perspective:

I feel like I’ve spent the past twenty years writing this book! It’s my fourth book on family traditions, and the second edition of my popular “Book of New Family Traditions.” It draws from two decades worth of wisdom I’ve gathered from interviewing hundreds of families, plus what I’ve practiced with my own son, who just started college. It’s a gentle guidebook packed with practical ideas, but I also give a tutorial on how to create rituals and celebrations from scratch that fit your own family like a glove. 

What’s most gratifying, beyond the great reviews, is how many parents I hear from who say this book guided their family’s journey in deciding what to celebrate, and how. I wish every family with young children who wants to give them a sense of identity and security — and great memories — could get this book! You’ll also find fresh ideas every week posted on my Facebook page, And I post frequent blog posts about traditions on my website,

As I write whenever I autograph a copy, “May Your Life Be Rich in Ritual!”

Meg Cox has been kind enough to offer one free and signed copy of her book, The Book of New FamilyTraditions, to one Petit World Citizen reader. Please enter to win via the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway widget at the bottom of this page below. This giveaway is open to US residents only (per the author’s guidelines). The winner will be announced one week from today.

French Lentil Soup

When I think of family traditions, I often think of a friend who grew up with a family tradition of having homemade pizza on Friday nights and soups on Sunday. I made this soup last Sunday with her in mind.

French Lentil and Barley Soup with Sweet Potato
Serves 8

1 cup French Lentils
1/4 cup barley
6 cups water
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks (white and green parts), chopped
1 sweet potato, diced small
2-3 medium carrots, diced small
2-3 celery stalks, diced small
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons cumin
1 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
a pinch or more cayenne pepper, red pepper or paprika
1-2 cups vegetable broth
lemon wedges

Sort and rinse lentils. Drain and add them in a large soup pot with barley and 6 cups water. bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender but still a little firm, about 20 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat oil then add onions and a generous pinch of salt and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add leeks and cook until translucent, about 15-20 minutes.

Add onion mixture to lentils with sweet potato, carrots and celery. Add enough water to cover vegetables, about 2-3 more cups, bay leaf and cumin. Simmer another 15-25 minutes.

Add cilantro, parsley, cayenne pepper and vegetable broth (the amount depends on your preferred consistency). Taste and adjust salt. Ladle into bowls, serve with a splash of lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley, and freshly ground pepper.

The Book of New Family Traditions

Please enter to win the book giveaway via the link to below.

Rafflecopter giveaway (link no longer available)

For more information on the book, including a book trailer, click here.

See my New Year Message to readers. Petit World Citizen Book Club coming soon!

6 thoughts on “French Lentil and Barley Soup and Book Giveaway

  1. My favorite tradition is baking and decorating cookies with my children during Christmas. I use my Mom’s recipe and it always brings such lovely memories rushing back.

  2. Our favorite family tradition was to stay up very late during thanksgiving and christmas and cook different dishes from around the world. Sometimes it would be pot roast and other times, cassava leaves or kibbeh. We don’t do it as regularly as we used to but it’s still a fave!

  3. Since I can remember, we’ve had a tradition in my immediate family of unwrapping 1 gift on Christmas Eve together…it is always a pair of pajamas! Then to make it even more exciting, we take pictures of our new bedtime attire. It has been so fun for my mom to shop for these Christmas PJs over the years and now that I have a small family of my own, it is fun for me. 🙂

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