I have always been a bean/lentil fanatic. As a child I loved beans. All beans. I could have eaten beans every single day. This is how much I loved beans. I still love beans (as do my kids), but lately, I’ve reached for lentils. If I had to pick, I’d say lentil soup is one of my favorite meals. I usually make a giant pot, which lasts us for two or three days. The soup is warm, filling and delicious; and good for you.
Here’s what lentils deliver.
- Like beans, lentils are high in fiber and protein (8 grams and 9 grams per half cup, respectively), which makes them great for your heart.
- Lentils are one of the best sources of plant-based iron. About 36% of the recommended iron value per day can come from eating just one cup of lentils.
- Lentils are full of folate and other essential vitamins.
- Lentils help reduce high cholesterol since they contain high levels of soluble fiber.
- Lentils help prevent constipation and other digestive disorders.
- Lentils are super filling, helping make meals satiating for longer.
- Lentils increase energy due to its fiber and complex carbs.
- Lentils are low in calories and contain virtually no fat.
- Unlike beans, lentils cook up in only 20 to 30 minutes and don’t need to be pre-soaked.
- Lentils are among the cheapest sources of protein you’ll find, and they never spoil. ($1.49/bag).
- Lentils taste delicious.
Easy thick & hearty lentil soup
Here’s my super easy lentil soup recipe. When I was a kid, both my grandma and mom used to make a similar soup. It’s thick and hearty – Perfect on a cold winter day.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 potatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt, pepper
- 3 chicken bouillon cubes (chicken stock is great; I just never have any on hand)
- 1 cups lentils
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 6 cups water
- 1 tbsp flour (to thicken the soup)
- handful or two of spinach
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.
2. Add onions, carrots; cook and stir until onion is tender.
3. Stir in lentils, potatoes and sprinkle with flour.
4. Add water and tomato sauce. Add bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
5. Add spinach.
After Christmas, I added leftover ham to the soup. So good. Germans also like to add one or two tablespoons of vinegar. It’s optional.