Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup Recipe - 101 Cookbooks

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					Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup Recipe
January 3, 2008 | by Heidi | Filed under High Protein Recipes, Low Carb Recipes, Quick Recipes, Soup Recipes, Vegan Recipes, Vegetarian
Recipes


I propose we kick off the year with
one of my very favorite soup
recipes from last. I eat lentil soup
three, four, maybe five times a
week (wish I was kidding), and
come back to this lentil soup over
and over for a few reasons. It's
hearty yet healthy - which in my
mind translates to a soup that is
filling, tasty, adaptable, and also
delivers plenty of good stuff to my
body. I can get much of what I
need from a meal nutritionally
from just one bowl. It gives me
energy without weighing me
down, and delivers layer after
layer of flavor. The tang of the
tomatoes plays off the earthiness
of the lentils, and the fragrant bolt
of saffron yogurt brightens each
bowl. Delicious.
I've been trying hard over the past
six     months       to    construct
thoughtful, nutritionally balanced
meals for myself. This can be
more challenging than you might think (particularly being a vegetarian), but really - I feel so much better when everything
                                                                                      is in balance. Protein? Check. Complex
                                                                                      carbohydrates?      Check.     Fruits    or
                                                                                      vegetables?....and so it goes. This soup
                                                                                      fits the bill for me - keep in mind that I
                                                                                      also believe that everyone needs to
                                                                                      navigate what they think constitutes a
                                                                                      healthy and satisfying meal on their
                                                                                      own, and I'm certainly not here to
                                                                                      preach. Just hoping to provide a dash of
                                                                                      ideas along with a sprinkle of
                                                                                      inspiration.
                                                                                      A few notes on why I like this soup
                                                                                      nutritionally (I know this is where many
                                                                                      of you nod off)...In addition to a nice
                                                                                      amount of vegetable based protein in
                                                                                      this soup (from the lentils), the recipe
                                                                                      also incorporates a touch of dairy,
                                                                                      vitamin-rich greens and tomatoes, and
                                                                                      good fats. If I have a ripe avocado on
                                                                                      hand I'll slice 1/4 of it into a small dice
                                                                                      and sprinkle that across the top as well.
                                                                                      The avocados have been so sad around
here lately that I mostly skip them. With a bit of whole grain toast (or croutons) that have been rubbed with garlic, the
whole thing comes together. Or you could make a batch of baked polenta fries.
Please feel free to think of this soup in broad strokes. There are dozens of ways I make subtle changes to this recipe
depending on what I have on hand. I'll include a list of variations at the base of the recipe itself.
Can the gluten-free-ers out there confirm that it's gluten-free? I want to be sure before I tag it GF. Sometimes the gluten is
sneaky, hiding in ingredients I wouldn't suspect. Thanks in advance.
Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup Recipe                                                         Serves 6 to 8.


I've found that French green lentils and black beluga lentils hold their shape nicely - they don't go to mush in the pot. I sometimes used
fire-roasted organic crushed tomatoes, they lend a lovely deep smoky flavor to whatever you use them in. If you come across them,
give them a try in this soup. If not, regular crushed tomatoes are just fine. Can't find Greek yogurt, no problem - just use whole plain
yogurt. Vegans can skip the yogurt entirely and finish the soup with a generous drizzle of good olive oil instead. And just a reminder,
this makes a nice big pot of soup, so use a large pot - I eat the leftovers all week.


2 cups black beluga lentils (or green French lentils), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
3 cups of a big leafy green (chard, kale, etc), rinsed well, de-veined, finely chopped


Saffron Yogurt
a pinch of saffron (30-40 threads)
1 tablespoon boiling water
two pinches of salt
1/2 cup 2% Greek Yogurt


Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add the lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.


While the lentils are cooking, make the saffron yogurt by combining the saffron threads and boiling water in a tiny cup. Let the saffron
steep for a few minutes. Now stir the saffron along with the liquid into the yogurt. Mix in the salt and set aside.


Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and salt and saute until tender, a couple minutes. Stir
in the tomatoes, lentils, and water and continue cooking for a few more minutes, letting the soup come back up to a simmer. Stir in the
chopped greens, and wait another minute. Taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Ladle into bowls, and serve with a dollop of the
saffron yogurt.


Variations:


- You can serve it with a poached egg on top,
- or crunchy, fried shallots,
- with a drizzle of chive infused cream,
- or with chunks of tiny pan-fried butternut squash cubes.


- Make a thicker version by using just a bit of water, and then spoon it over an omelette in the morning.


- Have some cooked farro or wheat berries around? Toss some in. Millet might be good too.


- You can finish the soup by adding your favorite spices or spice blends. Smoked paprika, crushed chiles, toasted cumin, would all work
nicely.

				
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