Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lentil Soup

By no means will we become vegetarians, we enjoy meat too much. However, I am trying to cook us more "veggie" meals. Basically, attempting to have a few meals every week that is vegetarian. Usually our meals consist of a meat protein, side (rice, pasta, or some starch), and always a veggie or two. I love to make broccoli, zucchini saute, asparagus, etc. So, in light of my new veggie meal goal, I made lentil soup. This recipe was a combination of two recipes that I had good reviews for. One was from Angel at Pilates on Highland who follows a raw food diet and another from this food blog.

So, with this being said, here is my variation. We both took it to work today and were satisfied afterwards. The toppings are optional, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Pros of this soup: high fiber, lots of those good vitamins/minerals, great tasting, high protein

Lentil Soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
5-8 organic carrots, chopped
5 stalks organic celery, chopped
1 organic zucchini, sliced
1/2 med organic onion (prefer the sweet instead of the white), chopped
2 shallots, chopped
6 cups of organic vegetable stock (or more if you like more liquid soup)
1 1/2 cup organic red lentils (dry) - picked over and rinsed
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp curry (or to taste)

Slivered Almonds - toasted
Feta crumbles
black oil cured olives-roughly chopped (I only had green olives and they were still delicious!)
1 bunch of cilantro (opt) - I did not add this but it was an option so I included it, I don't love cilantro unless it is with mexican food!

Heat large soup pot with olive oil, add the carrots, zucchini, celery, onions, shallots, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the onions are slightly caramelized and the veggies are getting tender (NOT MUSHY!). Stir occasionally.
Then pour in the broth, bring to a boil, then stir in the lentils. Simmer the soup for about 30-45 minutes (by this time the lentils are soft - kind of forming a thick slop if you will). If you like your soup thinner, add more vegetable stock at this time if it is not to your consistency liking. Notice that I did not add any salt, that is because I don't care for salty stuff but also used a normal vegetable stock instead of low sodium, so add salt to your liking.

Soup is now ready, serve in a bowl and top with almonds, feta, olives, and cilantro if you would like. I HIGHLY recommend if you had to choose one of these, pick the feta!

Makes 4-6 servings.

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