This lentil soup recipe is one of my favorites.
It’s easy to make, cheap to make, incredibly nutritious and delicious. I make big pots of it and stow it in the freezer for the inevitable “what’s there to eat? It’s a great, easy standby for more healthy eating at home.
I’m sure after you try it, you’ll want to do the same.
Note: For big batches I use a regular humongous soup pot on the stove. But for another quick fix, I’ll use my crock pot and have it simmering all day while I work.
Nutrition note: Lentils, like all beans, are superb nutritionally – they give you fiber, B vitamins (that slay heart-threatening homocysteine in your blood) and protein. In fact lentils are higher than many beans in their protein concentration.
Additionally, for all of you worried about the gassy effect of beans, lentils seem to go down easier than most other legumes.
5 c. brown or green lentils, dry and uncooked
6 stalks celery
2 large onions
6 cloves garlic
6 bay leaves
1 ½ c. olive oil
salt* and pepper
2/3 c. cider vinegar
2 small cans of tomato sauce or 1 c. of your favorite jarred tomato sauce.
scotch bonnet pepper**
bouillon, miso, soy sauce or fish sauce
* I don’t add much salt to this since I get it from the miso, bouillon or fish sauce.
**My favorite hot pepper. A habanero pepper, it’s flavorful as well as spicy. You can leave this out if you’d like to hold on the spiciness. But if you’d like to add it, put a whole pepper in and be careful not to pop it to reduce fiery release of its seeds. Or you can put a couple squirts of your favorite scotch bonnet/habanero pepper sauce. Tabasco sauce will also do in a pinch.
1. In a food processor, chop finely the carrots, stalks, onions, garlics.
2. Put in soup pot or crock pot.
3. Add dry lentils, olive oil, vinegar, tomato sauce, bay leaves and other seasonings (except miso, bouillon, fish sauce)
4. Fill pot up with water until it’s ¾ full.
5. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until lentils begin to break down. This takes about 40 minutes but it’s best if you really let it stew for an hour or so. If you put it in the crock pot, let it go for at least 4 hours (but it’s safe to let cook all day)
6. Stir in miso, soy sauce, fish sauce or bouillon to taste.
This soup is delicious on its own, with some rice or with toasted pita bread. Also, strangely enough, it goes really good with mashed sardines. (Recipe is posted on my other site, YourHealthyHomeBiz.com)
Also, since it’s vegetarian, you can take it along on a hike as something to nosh on without worrying about it going bad after a few hours on the trail – makes a great dip when you cook it thick.
Finally, for you non-vegetarians, I’ve made a delicious version by tossing in a ham hock and ham. Just make sure you cut down on the salty stuff (like miso, fish sauce, soy sauce or bouillon)