I'm on a very healthy kick right now… minus the few pieces of chocolate I need to get me through the week. I also am not inspired to spend a few hours in the kitchen every night. My solution? Soups! Oh no, not just any soups, lentil soups. As I am a little tight for money right now, I am looking to make things that are not only healthy and inexpensive, yet utilize fresh produce and are fun to make. Cue lentils, spinach, tomatoes and onions.
When lentils were on sale at Whole Foods a few weeks ago, I bought a couple pounds. However being that they only cost $1.50 a pound, I didn't have to resort to digging for quarters in my couch. On top of their surprisingly low price, they are high in health benefits! Worried about your cholesterol? They have an app for that (too far?)! Lentils are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber and this helps to manage blood sugar levels due to their high fiber content. Vegetarian and worried about nutrients? Lentils supply six important minerals, two B-vitamins and protein with (essentially) no fat. This is just the tip on the bean stalk, if you want to find out more, head over to The World's Healthiest Foods.
I presume you're here for the main act, the soup, so I will stop with the smoke and mirrors. Simply put, this soup has a very full and rich flavor. It has a thicker texture than tomato soup, but the lentils provide a good amount of texture. While the flavor of the spinach isn't too prevalent, the brightness of the tomatoes is instantly noticeable. The amount pictured above is what I ate for lunch one day and I was very full until late in the evening. It was a good full though; I was satisfied and full of energy. I still have a lot of lentils to use, so I hope to post some more lentil-centric recipes in the near future!
Tomato Spinach Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Carrot, diced
- 4 Cloves Garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
43 oz. Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cup Lentils, rinsed and picked over for debris
2 handfuls of baby spinach
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Heat large cast iron pot over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once oil is hot, slowly add the onions and carrots until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute. Pour in the tomatoes along with the vegetable stock, spinach and lentils. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Once lentils are tender, blend the mixture with an immersion blender (a lot easier!) or in a blender.
- Serve and enjoy!