Give Meatless Meals a Try!

Increasing your plant based meals may help reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and cancer. It also benefits the environment by reducing water usage, greenhouse gases, and fuel consumption.

So help yourself and the environment by giving a meatless meal a try! Here is a recipe for a delicious lentil soup. My husband has made this many times and we pair it with a nice crusty bread for a tasty and filling meal. Our kids love it too!

And remember that health coaching is a great way to help you make lasting changes in your nutrition. Contact me for a free 30 minute consult to learn more.



Lentil Soup

Recipe yields four large bowls of soup, or six more modest servings.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth (*note we use chicken broth)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste

1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.

2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.

3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.

4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender (or food processor). Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.

5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

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