LENTILS, FOR THE MONEY, FOR HEALTH, NOT JUST FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

Lentil SoupCleaning out my pantry at year’s end, I came across nearly two cups of French green lentils and about a quarter cup of Belugas screaming, “Use me”. Prior to storing, I’d sorted for damaged seeds, stones then tightly sealed them separately in glass jars, knowing they’d keep indefinitely in this cool dark cupboard until it was time to thoroughly rinse and create, but what?

Recent rainy days triggered a sense memory of a former client’s savory vegan soup of brown lentils, tomatoes and spinach and sent me on a personal file search that came up bubkas.

God bless the Internet as right there, on allrecipes.com, I found Marie’s nearly 4.5-star rated Lentil Soup. It was close if not a match, off to Trader Joes!

Creature of kitchen shortcuts these days I grabbed one container of Mirepoix (diced carrots, celery and onion) dashing home to incorporate my high protein, fiber and potassium legumes in time for dinner. It was absolutely delish even with my tweaks (see notes below)

How could I not share? You too can enjoy Marie’s Lentil Soup, which serves six by my calculations (recipe didn’t state quantity).

1 onion chopped (Trader Joes’ Mirepoix)

1/4- cup olive oil (Trader Joes’ Spanish Olive Oil cuz it’s so mild)

2 carrots, diced (Trader Joes’ Mirepoix)

2 stalks celery, chopped (Trader Joes’ Mirepoix)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (Trader Joes’ Organic Diced, No Salt Added)

2 cups dry lentils (Remember to sort for stones and rinse! Leftover Belugas put this over but wasn’t noticeable.)

8 cups water (Any opportunity to use my reverse osmosis alkaline system makes me smile.)

1/2- cup spinach, rinsed, thinly sliced (I used close to 2 cups Trader Joes’ pre-washed organic as it reduces to nearly not noticeable.)

2 tablespoons vinegar (I used Balsamic but I bet lemon would work too.)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery (Mirepoix); cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least one hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper and more vinegar if desired.

caloriecounts.com’s Recipe Analyzer gives Marie’s Lentil Soup a nutrition Grade A!

Lentil soup KCAL

 

About Terese Miller

Group Exercise Leader, 1983 ACE Gold Certified Exercise Leader, 1986 MELT Hand and Foot Instructor, 2015 IDEA Member ACSM Member Fitness Writer Home Cook

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4 Responses to LENTILS, FOR THE MONEY, FOR HEALTH, NOT JUST FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE

  1. LouAnn Savage January 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    Terese, you are back! Yes! As the best-of-the-best trainer to ever grace the legendary Santa Monica YWCA, I, as well as countless others, applaud you! Francie and I were just talking about how much we miss you and miss our forever memory, only to get your email that put a huge smile on our faces. Francie is on her way to visit next week and you will add a spring to our step and joy to a project we have in the making (news flash will come later).

    But about your lentil soup. I was on my way to Google for a lentil soup recipe and now, because of you, the search is done! It has been a fantastic winter for soup-from-scratch making, and in tribute to you because you deserve it, I am going to call your version, Terese’s Lentil Soup. How could I not? After all, I am partial to you and Trader Joe’s. You have also given me a chance to use my Napa Valley Naturals Blood Orange Balsamic Vinegar that I highly recommend for anything that you want to give a smooth balsamic zip to.

    Congratulations for all you have accomplished! And my very best wishes on your marriage! You deserve it all!

    OX LouAnn

    • Terese Miller January 19, 2017 at 11:29 pm #

      Thank you for your good wishes, LouAnn!
      Please let me know how you like the lentil soup.
      Napa Valley Naturals Blood Orange Balsamic sounds divine, can’t wait to try it!
      xoxo,
      Terese

  2. carol crocker February 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    Hi Terese,
    It was great to hear from you. Hopefully you will recover smoothly from your 2nd hip surgery.
    I am one of the students in Nancy’s Memorial Park Cardio-Interval class. We are so happy to be led by one of our former YWCA instructors.
    My friends and I miss you and wish you the best as you recover.
    Carol Crocker

  3. Terese Miller February 15, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

    Thanks SO much, Carol!
    Miss the gang too…

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