Guys - I love a lentil soup. Like really really love a lentil soup. Now I am here to tell you about one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made in a long time! One of the reasons I love lentils is because of how HEALTHY they are…
Have you guys heard of the Blue Zones? These are areas around the world where people consistently live to be over 100 years old and where people live the longest, and are healthiest: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.
They follow the following “rules” when it comes to the food they consume….
Plant Slant: 80-95% plant based diet
Consume meat no more than 2xs per week
Small amounts of fish are OK
Eat lots of beans! A recent study by the World Health Organization found that eating an average of 20gr of beans a day reduced risk of dying in any given year by 8%. (Lentils are a bean, guys!!)
Replace regular bread with sourdough
Go Whole. Eating singular foods without processing. Most Blue Zone peeps rarely ingest preservatives
By no means am I suggesting any kind of fad diets or drastic changes to your current eating habits, but it might make you more mindful of what you consume. There are other factors that contribute to the Blue Zone long lives - to learn more about them click HERE - it’s fascinating stuff and may help you rethink some of your food choices.
Sooo how is this relevant to the Lentil Soup recipe? Lentils are a true superfood and this is the long list of everything they do….
Are truly a Fiber King
Keep you full
Significant source of magnesium & folate
So much energy!!
Blood sugar stabilizer
So here is the recipe… a true crowd pleaser!
Red Lentil Soup
Serves 4-6 peeps
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 large carrots diced
4 large ribs celery diced
1 small yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic
2-3 huge handfuls of baby kale chopped fine OR chopped frozen spinach (3-4 handfuls)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste as you cook)
2 cups red lentils (do not sub with green as it won’t cook the same)
8 cups chicken broth
3 whole bay leaves
1 big scoop of boullion paste (or whatever you have, powder etc.) - to taste obviously
Fresh lemon wedges
Dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt
In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and salt. Stir to combine then cover and let the veggies sweat until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 min.
Add the lentils, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, add kale or spinach, and rest of seasonings and then turn heat to low and simmer, covered until the lentils begin to fall apart, about 20 min. Add salt as needed/to taste as it cooks. You can use the emulsion blender at this point if you like an even textured soup. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t! If you do, remove the bay leaves and blend right on stove top. Once blended until smooth, let sit over low heat for a couple more minutes ensuring the flavors are integrated.
Turn off heat. Let sit for a couple min, put in bowls and serve with lemon squeeze, sour cream. A hearty piece of bread or grilled cheese pairs nicely.
Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze. :)
Have a wonderful, well-balanced day!