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Author Topic: Warming Lentil Soup  (Read 1889 times)

Offline monikak294

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Warming Lentil Soup
« on: March 22, 2012, 04:44:23 PM »
Since we'll be heading into another round of rainy, chilly weather, I thought I'd share a recipe for a warming, nutritious lentil soup with all of you.  Use French green lentils in this recipe, since they maintain their shape and firm texture during cooking, instead of getting mushy and starchy like red, yellow or standard American lentils. Unlike other beans, lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking, so this soup can be made fairly quickly. It also freezes well. Enjoy!

1 pound French green lentils
4 c. chopped yellow onions (about 3 large)
4 c. chopped leeks, white part only (about 2 large)
1 T. minced garlic
¼ c. good olive oil
1 T. kosher sea salt
1 ½ t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. minced fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried)
1 t. ground cumin
3 c. medium diced celery (4 stalks celery)
3 c. medium diced carrots (4 - 6 carrots)
5 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
¼ c. tomato paste
2 T. red wine or red wine vinegar
Optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling on the top

In a large bowl, cover lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot on medium heat, sauté the onions, leeks and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender. Add the celery and carrots, and sauté for 10 minutes more.  Add the stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for one hour, until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine or vinegar, and serve hot, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Nutrition Notes:
Although this recipe was created by Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa), who is not necessarily known for her healthful cooking, this particular soup is very heart healthy, and packed with fiber, protein, and nutrients.

Lentils: high in protein, iron, soluble and insoluble fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and manganese
Leeks, onion and garlic are all part of the allium family..
Leeks are high in vitamin K, folate, the flavenoid kaempferol and antioxidant polyphenols;
Onions have sulfur-containing compounds, flavenoids and polyphenols, as well as being beneficial to bone health and cancer prevention;
Garlic contains manganese, vitamin C, B6 and selenium;
Celery: vitamin K, vitamin C, helpful in lowering blood pressure
Carrots: vitamin A, multiple antioxidants including carotenoids, phytonutrients. protective against cardiovascular disease