Lentils – A Boost to your Health.
Lentils are well known around the world and many cultures have used lentils as a staple in their diet. Lentils are an incredibly healthy, often under-appreciated superfood. The health benefits of this very tasty and versatile food are many. … More about lentils …
Lentil Soup – Hearty and Healthy
- 1 ½ cups brown lentils, sorted, rinsed, soaked *
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 carrots, peeled, diced
- 1-2 potatoes, peeled, cubed
- 1 stalk leeks, sliced
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- ½ cup chopped lovage (if you have some) **
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like it hot)
- Pinch of sea salt (or to taste)
- ½ tsp black pepper (to taste)
- 4 cups + chicken broth or bone broth
- ¼ cup parsley
- Ham, chicken or sausage if you so choose. ***
- Optional: Apple cider vinegar, hot mustard or Texas Pete served as a condiment to taste if you so choose.
* To soak or not to soak… It is up to you. Start out by soaking your lentils for 1-2 hours, if you so choose. When soaked, Lentils become soft quicker. The cooking process will be shortened, preserving precious vitamins and minerals. If you choose to not soak your lentils, add 10 minutes or more to the cooking time. Check to make sure your lentils are soft but not mushy. *
** Lovage is a wonderful, celery-flavored herb. It isn’t always easy to find. If you are able to find some, adding it will add a depth of flavor. Don’t worry if you can’t find it. Your soup will be tasty, even without. **
*** Lentils have plenty of protein and do not require extra meat. But… my husband always feels something is missing if he can’t SEE meat. To make him happy, I add cubed ham, chicken or sausage. ***
Warm the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch Oven. Add onions and garlic, cook until translucent. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, leeks and lovage (if you can find some). Add a pinch of sea salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper and bay leaf.
Add lentils and broth. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft without being mushy.
At the end of the cooking process remove the bay leaf and add parsley, salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer your soup to have more liquid, add some extra broth.
I set apple cider vinegar on the table for each person to add a little if they so choose. A little hot or spicy mustard or Texas Pete are also a great additions.