Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lentil and Spinach Soup

I discovered this week that lentils can give an incredibly creamy texture to soup while also adding protein, in much the same way that white beans do when added to squash to make soup.  This recipe is a quick and easy way to make a tasty and nutritious meal! I have no recollection of where I found this recipe, as I have had it in my 3-ring binder of favorite recipes since I was in college.  But this is the first time that I had pureed it and was quite pleased with the texture.   

1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed
1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned and sliced
1 small yellow onion, chopped  (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 small bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 pkg (10 oz.)  frozen spinach, thawed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
freshly ground pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a saucepan, combine the lentils, leek, onion, garlic, water, bay leaf and salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Add the thawed spinach, with the cumin and coriander.  Stir together over medium heat for 5 minutes until spinach is tender.  Puree to desired consistency.  Add freshly ground pepper to desired taste.  Add a bit of lemon juice to each bowl.  Delicious served with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for Pzazz!

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 6
Serving Size: Approximately 1 cup          
Calories: 81
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol:  0 mg
Sodium: 206 mg
Total Carbs: 20 g
Dietary Fiber: 9 g
Protein: 8 g