I love soups. They are healthy (usually), hearty and satisfying, especially in cooler weather. I also love them as lunches to take to work as a healthy alternative to cafe food or takeaways.
The other day I was craving soup, but I wanted something different instead of my go to soup, minestrone. So, I decided to make a vegetable and lentil soup.
Lentils are a pulse that come from the seed of the annual plant lens culinaris. They have been used in the human diet since the stone age and low in fat, high in protein and high in fibre. Health wise lentils contain a source of cholesterol lowering fibre, help regulate blood sugar and are one of the best vegetable sources of iron. Their iron content is particularly important for vegetarians or anyone suffering from iron deficiency, such as myself, and can be used in a variety of recipes from salads, vegetarian sausage rolls, and, of course, soups.
For my vegetable and lentil soup recipe I used du puy, or French green lentils and in France they are known as the poor mans caviar. French green lentils are dark green, almost black, in colour.
Vegetable and Lentil Soup
- 1 onion diced
- 1 leek sliced finely
- 4 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 6 mushrooms diced
- 2 stalks of celery sliced
- 1 tin of chopped Italian tomatoes
- 1 cup of French green lentils
- 60 g of rocket leaves washed
- 1/4 cup of chopped dill
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Warm a large pot and add the olive oil,garlic, onion and leek and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent.
Add the celery, carrot, thyme and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until the carrot begins to soften.
Then add the tinned tomatoes, lentils and stock and stir well. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Season to taste.
Before serving add the rocket and dill. Serve with warm crusty bread.