Thursday, January 5, 2012

Superfoods Month: Simple lentil soup from Shockingly Delicious

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Happy Superfoods Month! This delicious Superfood recipe comes via veteran food writer Dorothy Reinhold. Dorothy writes the recipe blog ShockinglyDelicious, where she specializes in scrumptious, tried-and-true, scary-good recipes that you might need a 12-step program to wean yourself from. Dorothy and I have known each other for years - our kids went to preschool together - but now we've bonded over blogging!

Today's Superfood: Lentils
Protein, fiber, iron, manganese, folate

I didn’t grow up eating lentils, probably because my mother didn’t like them. That was a surprise revelation to me a few years ago when I gave her a lentil concoction I had made. I thought it was delicious, and wanted to share. She ate some, and politely told me it didn’t float her boat because she hated lentils.

What? The woman who cooked for a clan of six every single day for decades, and who introduced her suburban family to bagna cauda, who made her own frijoles refritos from scratch despite the fact she was Italian, not Mexican, who practically invented homemade salted caramels 45 years ago and who knows her way around Parmesan vs. Pecorino?

I was stunned. Luckily, she never told us about that hatred growing up, so I had no preconceived notions about lentils. I loved them when I tried them because they cook relatively quickly, and absorb whatever wonderful flavors, herbs and spices you pair with them.

I have since learned that they may be small, but they are nutritionally mighty, contributing to a happy heart, a happy digestive system, and stable blood sugar levels.

This wonderfully rich-tasting soup is my latest lentil addiction. While dried lentils cook relatively quickly and don’t need to be soaked like dried beans, I have speeded up this soup even more by using packaged steamed lentils from Melissa's Produce, which are readily available in most grocery stores.

Like most soups, this one is even better if you make it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. When you reheat and serve it the next night for dinner, the flavor will be richer, if that is even possible!

Lentil soup for dinner after work? Oh yes, and the leftovers for lunch the next day!

Click here for a list of all the Superfoods Month recipes in this series

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Superfoods month: Best ever simple lentil soup
A quick and hearty soup perfect for weeknight dinners.
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 17-ounce package Melissa's steamed lentils
  • 4 cups low-salt, fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion, carrots and celery and a pinch of kosher salt and cook until tender, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.Add the tomatoes and their juice, rosemary and bay leaf, steamed lentils and another pinch of salt, broth, water and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Bring to a simmer, stir, cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove and discard the rosemary and bay leaf.Serve, garnishing each bowl with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings


Yanina said...

Se ve exquisita! me tomo un plato... Besos.

Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen said...

Sounds like a winner! I heart lentils. They're my favorite lunch. I eat them for breakfast sometimes, too! Love that two of my favorite food writers teamed up on this post. :)

Farmgirl Gourmet said...

Looks delish Erika! I love lentils! They are great as a salad mixed with baby greens and a little feta cheese. Mmm. Great post!!


Lana said...

I actually looked at this recipe on Dorothy's site and almost made it (I did not have tomatoes, which should be rectified soon:)
I did not know that you two were friends before food blogs! How wonderful!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Looks like it would be perfect for a cold January's dinner....maybe a little crusty bread and a glass of wine....


Sippity Sup said...

The things you learn! "Dorothy and I have known each other for years - our kids went to preschool together". Happy 12 2 U. GREG

Erika Kerekes said...

Greg - I thought you stop reading when the word "kids" is mentioned? :)

Anonymous said...


Christi said...

I know this is way TMI but I recently broke a tooth due to my apparent habit of night-time clenching, so now I have a temporary crown and have been afraid to eat much of anything for fear it will come off. I made this soup last night and enjoyed it so much; it was honestly the best meal I've had in over a week. It is really so good that I am making another batch to have for my lunches. (And I'm not sharing!) Delicious, filling, and healthy too- a real lifesaver for a hungry girl! I also forwarded the link to my Dad, as I know he will love it too, and the amount it makes is great for a single person household. Thank you, Erika~

Erika Kerekes said...

Oh Christi, I hope your dental problems are resolved soon - that's the worst! Glad you enjoyed the soup. I am passing your comment on to my friend Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious, as she wrote the post above during last year's Superfoods series. Thanks so much for letting us know you liked it!

Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious said...

So glad you like it! I have another lentil soup you might like, too:

Or choose from a whole bunch of soups that our group Food Bloggers L.A. make:

Cheerio, and happy cooking!

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