I fear that maybe lentil soup is going to be a hard sell. What would give me that idea? It all started with photographing this soup. I’ve found that a bowl full of brown is really hard to make appealing.
Then, the look on my family’s faces when I told them I had just made lentil soup. “Come on, you guys love my lentil soup!” As far as I’m concerned, they just didn’t remember how good it really was.
So, after I announced to my husband and my daughter that the forced-feeding shall commence, I presented them with the soup. “Well, it smells amazing,” said my husband. I sat staring, as they each hesitantly put spoonfuls in their mouths. Both of them raised their eyebrows in surprise. Maybe those memories were coming back! “Oh wow…this is delicious!”
Well, of course it is. ;)
Lentils are so good for you. They are high in fiber, magnesium, iron and protein. They are also a great source of B vitamins without the fat that comes with most sources of the B’s. Lentils can reduce inflammation in your body and provide a lot of energy. This soup is really filling, low in fat…and it really is delicious!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine (optional)
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth, homemade or low sodium
- 2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions, celery and carrots just until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and the sun dried tomatoes. Continue sautéing for just a minute.
- Raise the heat to high and add the white wine, if using. Reduce for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and the lentils.
- With kitchen string, tie the parsley and thyme into a bouquet garni (basically, a bunch of herbs). Drop the bouquet garni into the pot with the bay leaves. Give it a stir. Once the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering.
- After one hour, check the lentils for doneness. If you'd like them softer, they should only need another 10 minutes or so.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Fish out the bouquet garni and bay leaves and discard.
- Add the handfuls of spinach, give it a stir, cover the pot and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Finally, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the pot to give it a bright freshness.
My family sprinkles some grated Parmesan cheese on this soup. Just a little bit adds a nice buttery and nutty flavor.
Keep this vegan by using vegetable broth.