Another family favorite is Lentil Soup…we are all getting tire of being sick and bored of Chicken Soup.
Lentils are legumes, Lens ensculenta, coming in yellow, red, green, black and brown colors. The brown and green variety are best for soups and salads because they stay firm; holding their shape after they are cooked. These little seeds come one or two in a pod. They are a good source of iron, potassium and protein. Lentils absorb the flavors from ingredients and seasonings they are cooked with. Lentils can be used in soups and salads.
Lentils cook fairly quickly without needing to be soaked. They are a good choice for same-day soup making. Always checked the lentils for small stones and rinse them before cooking.
Lentils are among the earliest crops domesticated in the Old World; believed to have originated in central Asia. “Lentil seeds dating back 8000 years have been found at archeological sites in the Middle East. Lentils were mentioned in the Bible both as the item that Jacob traded to Esau for his birthright and as a part of a bread that was made during the Babylonian captivity of the Jewish people.” According to The World’s Healthiest Foods A site managed by the George Mateljan Foundation.
Lentil Soup Recipe
This recipe makes a large pot of soup. About 4 quarts.
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion – diced
3-4 Cloves Garlic- chopped
3 Carrots cubed – I wash my carrots, but I don’t peel them
1/4 head of green cabbage chopped
2 boxes broth – Use what you have vegetable or mushroom stock will keep this a vegan soup.
1 lb. Lentils – rinsed
5 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Cumin
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Paprika
Salt + Pepper
Chopped parsley or grated Parmesan for garnish (optional)
Sauté the onions in oil in a Dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot until translucent. Add garlic, carrots and herbs and sauté for a few minutes. Add the broth and stir to incorporate any of the bits on the bottom of the pan into the broth. Stir in tomato paste, cabbage and lentils. Season with salt and pepper to taste. On medium heat bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until bean are soft 15 to 45 minutes. Remove by leaves before serving.
Serve warm and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese or parsley.
This soup pairs well with a grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla (link here for my quesadilla recipe)