French Lentil Soup
This is a deliciously hearty soup. You will not miss the meat with this meal and it is very cost effective. Lentils like all beans are rich in fiber, which is great for lowering cholesterol and preventing constipation. In addition to being a great source of fiber, lentils and other beans are rich in magnesium, folate, iron and protein. The high fiber also helps to stabilize blood sugars after a meal, and are low in calories per cup (about 230). Another reason I love to cook lentils is you do not need to soak them before cooking. Therefore, an easy pick for a fast meal. I double the batch and freeze half for later meals. I shared this soup with a couple of my friends, one of them suggested using this recipe as a meat alternative in burritos. Great idea, Aimee! One suggestion would be to have the burritos the day after you cook these lentils as they will absorb the remaining liquid and will thicken perfectly for burritos. I also want to thank another foodie friend, Doug, for introducing me to the delicious combination of spices that make up Garam Masala.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Garam Masala spice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups French lentils or lentil of your choice
8 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
1- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the carrots, Garam Masala, cumin and oregano and saute an additonal 5 minutes. Sauteing the spices in the oil really helps to bring out the flavor within each spice.
- Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes, salt and fresh ground pepper and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Serve with a large green salad or baked leafy greens.