Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lentil Soup

40º F…37º F…32º F… As the average daily temperatures continue to drop, my hopes for a snowstorm continue to rise. Growing up in moderately climated New Zealand (or “Kiwiland” as my some of my American friends like to say), I was not exposed to snow as a child. Maybe my friends here don’t understand the reason for my high-pitched exclamations at tiny bits of ice succumbing to gravity, but it’s just like how I will never understand what’s so great about Charlie Brown.

As a high school student, snow is always so exciting and definitely the highlight of those beginning dark winter months of second semester. Even two inches of snow accumulation may mean a snow day, or at least a two hour delay. There’s just something so satisfying about waking up at 6:30 am, pulling back the curtains, seeing the white blanket covering the earth, and being able to climb back into bed to indulge in another hour or so of deep sleep.

Here is a dish that is sure to warm up your body for those highly anticipated snow days. It’s hot, rich, and oh-so-comforting. One hearty bowl of lentil soup will surely warm you up from bone to epidermis. Lentils are also extremely beneficial for your health. In fact, I’d say that you could survive on them. Seriously. Just one cup of boiled lentils has 16g fiber, 18g protein, and only 1g fat (0g saturated). That’s 63% of your recommended daily intake of fiber right there. With lentils providing that much dietary fiber, there’s absolutely no excuse to not reach that 25g of fiber daily, which so many people don’t. Lentils are also a good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Copper, Folate, and Manganese. Are they just not the superest superfood or what?

According to, there is an 80% chance of snow on Friday. THIS Friday. I have my fingers (and toes) double-crossed. You should too. Our current stock is slowly disappearing and I want a replenishment of that magical white fluff! Please?


1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp oil
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian herbs
1 tsp dried basil
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils
1 tsp ground dried cumin
1 tbsp paprika
8 cups water
½ cup frozen chopped spinach
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp vinegar


1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, Italian herbs, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in lentils, and add water, tomatoes, cumin, and paprika. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in chopped cilantro, vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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