What do you want from me…its soup weather again, I had to turn the heat on!!
Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. Low-fat, high-protein, and high fiber, not to mention the iron! I had tried Alessio brand (packaged) lentil soup and fell in love, and started using lentils in things like chili. They were a good, healthy filler (a bulker!). Now that I have a slowcooker…I decided it was time.
I did a good amount of research on lentil soup before I decided on my ingredients. I knew it would come out too bland if I didnt use the correct, or enough, spices. Lentils dont have much of a flavor, and I wanted this soup to come out so good that even PW would eat it!!
Here is what I decided on (I always base my recipes on ones I find around the internets and then add/subtract/change things, and I never measure when cooking–only when baking!)
-1 yellow onion
-3 cloves garlic (crush, then chop!)
-1 idaho potato
-one bag (2 cups) lentils
-1 can beef broth
-5.5 cups water
-salt and garlic salt
-fresh ground pepper
-bacon and parmesan cheese as toppings (thats my suggestions, but its delicious without any toppings!)
Another awesome characteristic of lentil soup is how easy it is to make into a vegetarian or vegan meal! Replace your beef broth with vegetable, use soy cheese and you’re good to go!!
First things first, chop up all yo’ veggies. I made everything pretty small because I didnt want the lentils to fade into the background! I diced the onion, smushed then chopped the garlic, peeled and hacked up the carrots and potato.
Very important step next: sift through and rinse the lentils. I used a big collander I already had out. Look for pebbles and then give them a good rinse.
Next, dump everything into that magic pot. I added the vinegar and olive oil when there was only 30min of cooking left. Everything else goes in, including about 2.5 teaspons of salt! Again, I didnt want bland food!
The dogs couldnt be bothered to get up and see what the racket was in the kitchen (they love the sun too much!! And no, I did not make the soup in the dead of night…not sure why the dinig room is so dark. or why the flash didnt kick in)
I left it on high for about 5 hours (again, adding the vinegar and olive oil at about 4.5 hours), and the house smelled fantastic of course. You could do something productive during this time. Laundry, dishes, mow the lawn, play with your dogs…or, you could be like me and make 3 trips to Home Depot because you keep forgetting things to take down the wallpaper!
Finally, exhausted from my Depot-ing, I came home and ladeled some into my favorite bowl and topped with a tablespoon of parmesan and a crumbled piece of bacon–delicious!
There’s so many options for this soup…spinach/kale would be a great addition, chicken would be great too, or adding some other beans (black eyed peas??) and making it a full on legume stew!
I may or may not have had seconds…it was that good. And tonight I am heading to my grandfathers birthday party which will probably involve chinese food (blech), so Im filling up in anticipation!
Okay, for the core followers, I calculated the nutrition assuming you break it down into 6 servings (this is without toppings, just ingredients I listed up top!):
2.5 g fat
27 g carbs
8 g protein
Two servings and still super healthy!