There is something so satisfying about a pot of soup, full of vegetables, simmering on the stove. Lentils are packed with fibre and protein, making this a perfect vegetarian dish to add to your repertoire of quick healthy meals.
Nutrition Benefits of Lentils
I love cooking with lentils for a number of reasons. From a nutrition perspective, I always recommend having a source of protein at each meal, and lentils totally fit the bill. Lentils have, per cup: 18 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of fibre, around 20% of your daily potassium needs and a solid dose of iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. They also cook really quickly from dry AND are so inexpensive!
Lentils are really a dream food from every angle. It’s a shame that a lot of the diets today exclude beans and lentils given the fact that they are such a nutrition powerhouse, and so much better for your body and the planet as a protein source vs animal sources. Of course, there are exceptions for those who truly can’t tolerate them (ie: low FODMAP diet). If in doubt chat with a registered dietitian who can help you find the best diet for you!
What to Serve With Soup
This is my take on lentil soup that I adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe years ago. If you haven’t made your own soup before this is a perfect one to get your feet wet! You’ll see how absolutely easy it is to make your own soup to pack for a healthy and inexpensive lunch or a light dinner paired with a green salad (try my go-to vinaigrette salad dressing that can make any green salad taste amazing!).
If you’re looking for a full salad recipe that you can prepare ahead, try this Harvest Apple Quinoa Salad or my Kitchen Sink Salad. If you’re feeling extra ambitious why not whip up a batch of Veggie Muffins to really wow your crowd (they freeze so well!) – here is the link to my vegan version of the Veggie Muffins! Can you hear your body saying thank you yet?
If you don’t want to cook your own lentils, or don’t have dry lentils on hand, simply add a can of drained lentils to the cooked veggies with the stock at the end and heat before serving!
Happy cooking my friends!
Hearty Lentil Soup (gluten free & vegan)
This healthy and fibre-filled lentil soup is so easy to make and is super satisfying to make during those chilly winter months. Serve with rustic crusty whole grain bread (gluten free if needed) for a warming nourishing meal.
- 1 1/2 cups dry green lentils
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3/4 cup peeled carrots, diced
- 3/4 cup celery, diced
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped (unpeeled)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock (to make it vegan use vegetable stock)
- Salt & pepper to taste
Rinse and soak the lentils in water, at least 3 hours or overnight if possible. You can skip the soaking but they will just take about twice as long to cook.
In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally Add the garlic, carrots and celery, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, until the vegetables soften, stirring occasionally Add the tomatoes and spices cook for an additional 5 or so minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.
Drain the lentils. Add the lentils and stock, and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Do not over cook this soup as the lentils will disintegrate! Add salt and pepper to your taste and enjoy!