It is another wintery day here in New England. Here in Marblehead, we got over 40 inches of snow in the past week! And it is snowing again!
Fortunately, snowy winter days make me run off to the grocery store less often and instead reach deep into my pantry to see what I can cook with ingredients I already have on hand. Enter lentil soup. It is one of my favorite soups to make because it is so simple, healthful, and filling, but also because I almost always have all the ingredients I need on hand. Not to mention it makes great leftovers!
Lentils are packed with fiber, protein, B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, and many other nutrients. They truly are a nutritional superstar and come in a variety of colors and types.
For this recipe, I used green lentils, but you could also use brown lentils. Red lentils would work, but they tend to break down during cooking, so it would be a different consistency, but still delicious. If you do use red lentils, your soup will only need 20-25 minutes of simmer time. Here is a great recipe for red lentil soup from my other site CooksAid.
Makes: about 6 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium carrot (or 2 small), diced
1 medium parsnip (or 2 small), diced
16 grape tomatoes or 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups water*
1 ½ tablespoons better than bouillon, reduced sodium vegetable*
1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh, chopped organic parsley
*If you are on a gluten-free diet choose a gluten-free vegetable broth instead or use your own homemade vegetable stock.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, and parsnip and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add water, bouillon, lentils, thyme, and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Season to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with parsley. Enjoy!
(This soup is also fantastic with a dollop of parsley pesto!)