Soups are some of the most loved foods especially when it’s a little chilly and is perfect for wintery or chilly nights. Soups are also considered very hearty as they can heat us up and give warmth not just to our bodies but also our hearts. One of the most famous soups would be the Lentil Soup recipe. It is easy to make, it is delicious as well as healthy. We’ll show you the most ideal ingredients and ways in customizing your dish in case you don’t have everything on hand.
Cooking Utensils Needed
NOTE: For every cup of lentils would be 4 cups of water
Preparing the Lentils
Step 1: In a large bowl/pot/pan, soak the lentils in water for 1-2 minutes and wash thoroughly
Step 2: Drain the water using a strainer or colander and repeat step 1
Step 3: Set aside
Cooking the Soup
Step 1: Put the Lentils in the dutch oven or saucepan with the 8 cups of water and cook under medium low heat. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Add in the carrots and other vegetables like potatoes or corn. Give it a quick stir to mix them altogether and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: While the lentils and vegetables are cooking, on a skillet add 2-3 tsp of olive oil or butter and put in the onions, garlic and celery. Fry until translucent.
Step 4: Add 1 tbsp of black pepper or the amount you prefer and add the tomato paste or can of tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. If you have red lentils, you may add it together with the other herbs and spices – oregano and thyme. You can also add some chili powder or jalapenos if you like to make it a bit spicy.
Step 5: Once they are ready, put everything together in the dutch oven or saucepan where the lentils are being cooked and stir to mix the ingredients together and bring that wonderful flavor. Add salt to taste and add the bay leaf.
Step 6: Once everything has been mixed well and you are satisfied with how it tastes, add the spinach on top and turn off the heat.
Step 7: Cover the dutch oven for about 5 minutes to let the different spices and flavors be absorbed by the lentils and then you’re ready to serve.
TIP: You can serve it with 1 cup of rice or any type of bread. You may also serve it with lemon for its zest and juice for added flavor.
Quick Facts About Lentils
What are Lentils?
Lentils are a type of legume that are usually small, round and flat. They come in different varieties based on the country of origin. They are similar to beans but are still different from them. Beans are seeds from different varieties of plants while lentils on the other hand are from plants that bear pods as their fruit.
Types of Lentils
Lentils come in various colors. Each color has a slightly different characteristic from the others but all of them are healthy and nutritious. Of course, everything in moderation.
Type 1: Green – These types of lentils have a peppery flavor and are usually the one that take the longest to cook at a maximum of 45 minutes. They are also called Puy lentils and have a darker green variety called French Green lentils.
Type 2: Brown – These are the most common type of lentils and are regularly cooked within 20 minutes. They have this earthy flavor that goes well with different types of herbs and spices.
Type 3: Black – Also called Beluga lentils, these dark colored lentils have a thick and creamy flavor. They are usually cooked in about 25 to 30 minutes and are usually included in salads.
Type 4: Red or Yellow/Gold – The sweetest flavored lentils are the red and yellow. Actually, red lentils are hulled and split yellow lentils and are usually light red or orange in color. Yellow lentils are the whole version of red lentils. Both are the quickest to cook with the red lentils for about 10 to 15 minutes and the yellow ones at about 15 to 25 minutes. They would usually thicken any type of broth or soup during the cooking process.
Nutritional Value of Lentils
Like beans, lentils are also rich in protein, fiber and are also high in iron and folate. They have lesser carbohydrates compared to beans and so people on a dietary plan are recommended to eat lentils instead of beans. They have the following benefits:
- Helps with weight loss
- Helps regulate sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of heart attack and certain cancers
Here are a 2 videos that would help you get a glimpse of how to cook lentil soup. You would be able to see that you can even do without measurements while cooking it as long as it would suit your taste buds.
Super Quick and Easy Lentil Soup (Prep in less than 10 minutes)
Comforting Lentil Soup (Armenian Style)
Labor of Love
It is always a labor of love when you cook for your family and friends and none is sweeter than cooking a hearty soup. Lentils are good for healthy living and are considered as the most nutritious legumes. They are readily available and are not that expensive. You can buy them in a can or dried if you’d like to prepare them for cooking on your own and what’s more is that any type of herbs or spices can go with them. You can also cook them with meat but even without the meat, each lentil contains a good amount of protein that is sufficient for the body to absorb.
I hope we have triggered your creative homemaking skills with this recipe. We hope you would love to make this dish.