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Lentil Soup

 

Lentil soup is a nutritional powerhouse.  It combines the nutrients, protein, good carbs and fiber in lentils with the antioxidant power of veggies, herbs and spices. Adding a little good fat from the extra virgin olive oil rounds it out into a perfectly balanced meal.

Lentils are especially high in B vitamins and minerals like iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Many nutritionists consider lentils one of the healthiest things you can eat, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

This soup is incredibly easy to make and really inexpensive, even with organic ingredients you can make a giant pot of soup that will feed 6-8 people for less than £10.

All lentil varieties are great and very nutritious, try different types (red, green, etc.) and find what you like best.

Think of this recipe as a guide and method to making lentil soup; add any herbs, spices or veggies that you’d like and make it your own. Once you get the hang of it you won’t even need to refer back to a recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 750mlvegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 150g lentils, rinsed (soaking is optional)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1small onion, finely chopped
  • 2sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 1large carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 3–4cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoonground cumin
  • ½ teaspoondried oregano
  • 1bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoonred wine vinegar (aged balsamic also works)
  • 1 teaspoonsea salt
  • ½ teaspooncourse black pepper
  • Optional: 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or one tin)

Optional: Any greens you’d like to add; look for something in, spinach is always a great option and has a mild favour. You’ll need about one handful of washed greens per person.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, cumin, oregano and pinch of both salt and black pepper to the pot. Stir and let cook another 3-5 minutes until the mixture is well combined and very fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic–turn the heat down if necessary as garlic burns easily.
  3. Add the bay leaf, rest of the salt and pepper, stock and soaked, rinsed lentils to the pot and bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. The amount of salt you need will depend on what type of stock you use; start with one teaspoon and add more later to taste if desired.
  4. Add the tomatoes (if using) and let the pot simmer for about 40-50 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Discard the bay leaf before pureeing and serving.

Depending on how you like the texture you can blend this soup or if you prefer skip blending.  

This delicious soup can be batch made and frozen for up to 3 months.