Jan 09, 2013

Home-style Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is such a wonderful staple on any household menu. Nutritious and filling, it’s the perfect meal on a chilly day. Lentils are high in protein. One cup of cooked lentils contains more than 17 grams! Lentils are also known to improve liver function because they contain high amounts of choline. Choline is a nutrient which enables the liver to rid itself of fat so that it can effectively filter toxins from the bloodstream.

Lentils are one of the oldest, most nutritious staple that have been part of history and culture for over 8,000 years and have been consumed since pre-historic times. Originating from central Asia, lentils are one of the first foods to have been cultivated. Evidence of early cultivation goes as early as 6000 B.C. in the Middle East.

There are so many varieties of lentils. Brown lentils, the most common type, can be found in most grocery stores. They are mild in flavor, often described as earthy and can be used in a variety of recipes. French green or Puy lentil are also common. They were originally grown in the Le Puy region of France, hence their name. Puy lentils are often considered the most flavorful variety because they have a peppery taste. Red lentils are commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes and have a mild, sweet flavor. When cooked, they turn a golden color.

When I was young my mom would make lentils at least once per month. Hers was an “Italian” lentil soup and consisted solely of brown lentils, garlic, olive oil and ditalini pasta. I loved it and could eat a whole pot! Now that I’m not eating wheat and very little processed starch, I have become accustomed to a more traditional lentil soup, which is still delicious and fulfilling.

Ingredients:

1 pound brown lentils
10 cups water
2 diced carrots
2 diced celery stalks (see notes)
1 diced onion
3-4 cloves crushed garlic
2 TBS all purpose seasoning (I use Salt-free Spike)
1 TBS veggie base
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp paprika
2 TBS Liquid Aminos (or salt to taste)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except tomato paste in large pot. Simmer for at least 2 hours on low, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste after about 1 hour. The longer the soup cooks, the better the flavors. You can also use a crock pot for this!

Helyn’s Notes: Celery is one of those vegetables that you should always buy organic. It is heavily sprayed and has been known to contain 64 pesticide residues including neurotoxins, reproductive toxins and known carcinogens!

Makes about 10 cups. Enjoy!

Healthy Trails,
     Helyn

6 responses to “Home-style Lentil Soup”

  1. Kimmie says:

    Sounds delicious! One of my favorite kinds of soup. I buy lentels in a rainbow of colors!

  2. Helyn says:

    I love the multi-colored lentils, too!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Helyn, thank you sooooo much for this amazing recipe!! I have made this soup four times in the past two weeks, so you can see that it has become a family favorite! The first time I had only mixed lentils, but the soup turned out delicious. I also had run out of regular paprika, so I used smoked. That turned out to be a happy substitution as it gave the soup that "bean with bacon" taste some of us miss since becoming nutritarians. I have made this with brown and green lentils, too…all are delicious. Thanks for your awesome website and delicious recipes. Yours is my favorite nutritarian hangout!!

  4. Helyn says:

    Thank YOU so much for your wonderful comment. I thrive on feedback such as yours. It's a labor of love for sure but it's still nice to know that others are enjoying my recipes! :))

  5. masaravati says:

    Made this soup for supper tonight with red lentils. Yummy. Will try leftovers over rice. First time with red lentils, loved them and their great color! Thank you for your recipes!

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