April 3, 2013

Lentil Soup


It may officially be Spring time, but there is still a nip in the air (some of you are still shoveling snow) that fuels cravings for warming foods. No matter what the season, there are certain foods that consistently satisfy my need for simple comfort food. Remarkably quick and easy to make with ingredients that I almost always have on hand, lentil soup is one of those favorites. The ease of preparation for this one pot healthy meal makes it all the more satisfying.

Lentil soup is not only savory and filling, but so very good for you as well. It is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and full of healthy protein. It also happens to be economical as the ingredients are as simple as they get proving it true that you do not have to spend a fortune on trendy ingredients for a fabulous meal. Serve this soup with a simple salad and fresh crusty bread.

Lentil Soup

Serves 8-10

For all ingredients, please consider using those that are organically grown.

 1 onion, finely chopped
 2 teaspoons olive oil
 4-5 carrots, chopped
 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
 1/4 cup red wine, white wine is ok
 2 cups lentils, green/brown standard variety
 3 tablespoons tomato paste
 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
 1 bay leaf
 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  sea salt
  freshly ground black pepper
 2 quarts vegetable stock

For the sake of saving time and reducing the amount of work for the chopping, feel free to chop the vegetables in the food processor fitted with the metal blade. Use the pulse feature to break up the vegetables and keep from pureeing them.

Heat the olive oil and onions in a stock pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until they turn translucent and begin to caramelize.

Add the carrots and celery to the onions and cook for another 5-10 minutes until they begin to soften.

Add the wine and scrape down the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add the lentils, tomato, paste, spices, and seasonings.

Add the stock, increase the heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 45 minutes until the lentils are tender and the soup has thickened. If the soup seems to thick, add more stock at any point.

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

Lentil soup will keep nicely refrigerated for up to 4 days. It will also freeze well once cooled completely.

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Categories: Beans & Legumes, Kids in the Kitchen, Soups & Stews, Vegan Entrees

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