Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Quick Red Lentil Soup

A few weeks ago, we had an unseasonably cool day or two and I could immediately feel my body wanting a warming, hearty soup.  Luckily I had some red lentils on hand that I used to make the quick recipe below.   By soaking them for a few hours in the morning, it helped to begin the digestive process, neutralize toxins, and boost the number of nutrients.  Not to mention, soaking them cuts down on the cooking time, and these tend to cook quickly!

Although this soup didn’t need it, I used strips of raw zucchini chopped into small pieces as a thickener.  I put them in at the very end of the cooking and they were tender in no time. 

Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber and according to Dr. Susan Brown and Larry Trivieri, Jr., The Acid Alkaline Food Guide, are actually one of the more alkaline-forming foods in the beans/legumes category, which is unusual with high-protein foods.  If you’d like to see what else you’re feeding your body with lentils, you can check here.

Red Lentil Soup

1 cup red lentils, soaked for several hours and rinsed
1 T grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1 stalk celery, trimmed and sliced thin
½ cup dried mushrooms (any combination), rinsed and soaked in hot water
vegetable broth (low salt, heated)
dried thyme, oregano, basil, and black pepper to taste
sea salt to taste (if using low salt broth)
1 medium zucchini, peeled and shaved to make thin strips

Heat a medium saucepan on medium and add the grapeseed oil.  Add the onions and celery and saut√© for a few minutes, then add the carrots and cook an additional 3 minutes. 

Drain the lentils and add them to the pan, then add in enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils by about two inches.  Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot along with the soaking liquid.

Add the seasonings and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover lightly until the lentils are cooked, ~10 minutes.  Add the zucchini and cook 2 minutes more, or until tender.  Serve hot.

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