I recommend that lentil soup be in every healthy person's repertoire! It is low in caloires but high in fiber and nutrition. That will not only keep you slim and trim, but keep your insides functioning well. Both matter toward optimal health. This soup has good hang time so make it early in the week and use it for your week day lunches.
2 ¼ cups French green or brown lentils.
(sometimescalled Spanish Pardina lentils)
2T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2carrots, scrubbed and cut into ¼ “ dice
1 celery stalk, cut into ¼ “ dice
1T. minced garlic
1T. tomato paste
1T. soup base seasoning (I use a vegetable broth/seasoning from my co-op called Seitenbacher, but any brand without msg is OK)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth (one of each is OK)
2 cups water
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1T. red wine vinegar
2c. chopped spinach or other greens
Pick over the lentils and discard any misshapen ones. Rinse well in a mesh strainer and drain.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until softened about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir about 1 more minute. Add the soup base seasoning and thyme, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, bay leaf, broth and water, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender; about 35-40 minutes. Add 2 cups of chopped spinach(kale and Swiss chard work well too). Stir until wilted. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
To make this an even heartier meal, serve the soup over some brown rice or whole-grain small sized pasta like elbows with a little bit of parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Prairie Health Companion