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If you are looking for vegetarian dinner recipes simple and healthy, that your whole family will love, you will defiantly want to try this one!! Packed full of nutritional goodies, this soup will quickly become a family favorite. The best part is, this soup is even better the next day, so leftovers will not last long. I love making my weekly dinner menus healthy and delicious and this has defiantly become a regular in our house!
Lentil Fun Facts:
Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare and readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings.
Lentils are a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family. They are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Their high fiber content also helps to prevent blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils! Which means this tiny nutritional giant will fill you up and not out.
Italian Lentil Soup
1 medium onion chopped
1 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 ¼ cups water
1 can (14 ½ oz) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
2 cups spinach, chopped
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 small organic green or red pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 (14 ½ oz) can diced low-sodium organic tomatoes
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
1 TBSP lemon juice
1. In dutch oven (or large pot), sauté onion in oil until tender.
2. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.
3. Add water, broth, lentils, carrots, green pepper, oregano, basil, cinnamon and pepper flakes. Bring to boil. Reduce heat: cover and simmer for 20-25 min or until lentils are almost tender
4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add spinach: cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until lentils are tender.
· Serve over brown rice or quinoa for a hearty meal.
· Add cooked organic chicken or ground beef for non-vegetarian dish.
· You can substitute low-sodium chicken broth for vegetable broth.
· Add jalapeno pepper (finely chopped) for extra kick.