Lentils are the little darlings of the legume family. They’re petite, cook very quickly and are packed with a lot of great nutrients, but low in calories. Since they have such a mild flavor on their own, they soak up spices very easily, which in my opinion, means that everyone could love these little beauties with the right seasonings.
This soup recipe is nothing exotic, but it is very yummy and perfect for an icy, snowy day. We’ve just had our snow days here in NC, and I made a big pot of this soup to warm us up after some outdoor play time. 😉
- immersion blender
- 16oz bag of dried lentils (I’m using green)
- 1C chopped carrots= about 2 medium size carrots
- 1C chopped celery= 2-3 stalks depending on size
- 1/2C chopped onion
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 medium sized tomato- chopped
- 2TBSP olive oil
- curry powder
- sea salt
- 7-8C vegetable broth/ bullion*
First you’ll want to rinse your lentils and sift through them a bit to make sure there are no surprises, like tiny pebbles, a bad lentil (possibly missed before drying) or bits of the lentil pod. Usually it’s not much to worry about, but who wants to bite into a pebble while enjoying their soup? I place all of my lentils in a large bowl filled with water. I pick them up by small handfuls and give them the once over before placing them in a clean bowl or colander.
Pour the olive oil into a large pot and start heating it up at a medium setting. Once it’s hot, add the onions and a pinch of sea salt to get them weeping. Cook the onions until they are nice and glassy. Then add the minced garlic, give it a good stir, and add your tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook down a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Once the tomato and onion mix starts looking a bit saucy, add the carrots and celery. I like a little firmness to my veggies, even in a soup, so I cook them just until they start getting tender, about 3-4 minutes. ( If you prefer them softer, cook a few minutes longer)
Once your veggies are where you like them, add your darling little lentils. Then add the 7-8C of vegetable broth*; if you’re unsure of how thick or thin you prefer your soup, start with 7, then add the last cup at the end of the cooking time. Now add a few dashes of curry powder. This adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out the flavors in the soup. Remember that lentils soak up anything you throw at them, so a little goes a long way.
*I rarely ever use broth that’s already mixed, simply because I buy bullion cubes to keep on hand if I want to make a quick soup or gravy. Rather than dissolve the cubes first (a hot business) I add the required number of cubes straight into the pot. I personally use Knorr, because they have a great flavor and dissolve quickly. I used 3 1/2 cubes for 7C of water here.
So now place the burner to a low-medium low setting depending on your stove, place a lid slightly tilted on top and let the soup mix do it’s work. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the lentils are soft and cooked through, get ready for the fun part. Remove your pot from the heat, and with an immersion blender set on it’s lowest setting, blend the soup to a desired thickness. I really like about 1/2 blended, 1/2 soupy. Tip:Make sure you keep your blender at the bottom of the pot, and turn it off before bringing it up, or you might have hot soup flying everywhere. Now eat up! 🙂
Because this makes such a huge batch it’s great for saving some for later. I have just discovered how easy it is to jar up homemade foods, so stay tuned, because I will probably be blogging about this new obsession soon!
What Makes Lentils so Good for You
This info based on 1 cup of cooked lentils**
- 230 calories
- 18g of protein
- 1g fat
- 40g carbs (which includes 16g fiber & 4g sugar)
- 90% of your daily folate
- 37% iron
- 49% manganese
- 21% potassium
For more details about specific vitamins, and more on the health benefits of these lovelies, visit this link:** http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297638.php