Lentil Soup Recipe
My aunt sent me this lentil soup recipe and it quickly became one of my favorites. It has all my favorite qualities in a soup recipe: it’s tasty, healthy, cheap and easy to make!
The first time I made it, I was hooked. I am not a vegetarian, but I have no problem skipping meat to indulge in this lentil soup.
8 cups water or broth
1 cup dried lentils (rinsed)
1 each onion, carrot, stalk of celery, potato (chopped)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish
1. Bring water to boil
2. Add lentils, vegetables, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, turmeric and cayenne
3. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour
4. Remove bay leaf, add remaining ingredients (except parsley)
5. Use an immersion blender if you want to thicken the soup, but don’t puree the soup
6. Garnish with parsley and serve.
There are so many healthy aspects to this lentil soup. First, of course, is the lentils, which are a nearly complete source of protein be themselves. Normally you need to combine a grain and a legume to get all the essential amino acids, by lentils have nearly all of them. In addition to this, they are a very good source of fiber, iron and vitamin B1.
This soup is also very low in fat, because the vegetables are not cooked in oil first. This, and the fact that there is no meat or dairy products means that the fat content is drastically reduced compared to many other soup recipes.
Lastly, turmeric has long been believed to have many positive effects on digestion. The main “active” ingredient is called curcumin, and it is the subject of many clinical studies for its potential positive health effects.
Tips and Techniques
There are many types of lentils, varying greatly in color from yellows and reds to brown and green. Different lentils will also behave differently when cooked: some will completely disintegrate while others will maintain their shape and some amount of firmness. For this soup the French “Puy” lentils are best, as they will not break down into a mushy texture. Even after being zapped with an immersion blender many of the lentils will stay whole, adding a more pleasant texture to the soup. If you prefer a thicker soup you can add some red lentils to the ingredients, as they will break down completely and add their starch to the broth.