Even though this winter has been pretty mild, a good hearty soup really warms you up and is the perfect comfort food. This lentil soup recipe is healthy and adapted from Must Have Been Something I Ate by Peggy Kotsopoulos. Lentils are a great source of fiber, protein, and iron. They also have tryptophan, which can make you feel happy. The vitamin C from red pepper helps you absorb the iron.
1.75 - 2 cups of dry lentils
1 white onion
1 red bell pepper
4 celery stalks
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium potato
1 can crushed tomato (14-15 oz.)
5 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kelp granules (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
juice from 1/2 lemon
First, cook the lentils by adding them to 2 cups of water and brining to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer and let the lentils absorb most of the water, takes about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up all of your vegetables and cube the potato. Add 8 cups of water to a very large pot over high heat. You can add your vegetables to the pot as you chop them. Also add the rest of the ingredients, except for the lemon and lentils to the large pot. Go easy on the salt if you are using kelp. Once the water is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about half hour or until the vegetables are soft. Add the lentils once they are cooked. Before serving, remove the bay leaves and stir in the lemon juice.
This recipe makes about 6 servings and is pretty cheap. Dry lentils are least expensive in the bulk food section of the grocery store, and definitely less expensive than other sources of protein, like chicken. I like to freeze individual servings and eat them when I need a quick meal.