Lentil Lover

The last time I was visiting my family and was scrounging their pantry for goodies to take back to Orlando, I came across an unopened bag of dried lentils. I asked my mom what she makes with lentils and she said, “Nothing! They’ve been in there forever.”

I laughed because I had a bag of untouched dried lentils sitting in my pantry back at my apartment. I put my mom’s bag back and made a mental note to face my lentils at home and actually use them for something soon.

My lunch today was leftover lentil soup from Friday night’s dinner.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

Leftover soup is always so tasty. I think the extra time allows the ingredients to compliment each other and the flavor to become even stronger.

To make the soup on Friday, I first I rounded up all the necessary ingredients.

The Goods

The Goods

I then added a tablespoon of olive oil to a pot and tossed in diced carrots, celery, onion and two bay leaves and let the vegetables soften and sizzle a bit.

Veggies

Veggies

After the amazing aroma began to fill the room, I added two diced garlic cloves and a tablespoon of tomato paste and let it cook for a minute or two.

Tomato Veggies

Tomato Veggies

I then added three cups of water and a half a cup of dried lentils and let this mixture simmer on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes, until the lentils became relatively soft.

I then added approximately five cups of freshly chopped spinach, a decent squirt of dijon mustard, a large splash of red wine vinegar, a large pinch of parsley and approximately half a teaspoon of pepper to the soup and let it simmer on low for an additional 10 minutes.

Addin' Spinach to the Mix

Addin' Spinach to the Mix

The smell of the soup was amazing and we had a hard time waiting patiently to dig in.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

The soup was very filling and full of fiber. It tasted great as a leftover Monday lunch, too! Success.

Bowl o' Soup

Bowl o' Soup

I condensed the recipe I found from Cooking Light and added additional spinach, but here is the original recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1 1/3  cups  finely diced onion
  • 1/3  cup  finely diced celery
  • 1/3  cup  finely diced carrot
  • 2  bay leaves
  • 2  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 6  cups  water
  • 1  cup  dried French dark green or other lentils
  • 6  cups  chopped spinach
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  teaspoons  red wine vinegar
  • 2  teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion, celery, carrot, and bay leaves; saute for 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, salt, and minced garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add 6 cups water and lentils; bring mixture to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer mixture for 25 minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach, parsley, vinegar, mustard, and pepper; cook 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls; top with cheese.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 234 (30% from fat)
Fat: 7.8g (sat 2.9g,mono 3.7g,poly 0.7g)
Protein: 16.6g
Carbohydrate: 26.6g
Fiber: 7.3g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Iron: 5.1mg
Sodium: 729mg
Calcium: 260mg

Question: What is something that always seems to go untouched in your pantry?