Lentil Soup


IMG_1285This weekend was rather intense for me.  I had a Personal Relationship with Food workshop over the entire weekend that really challenged me emotionally.  I gathered with a group of 22 other NTI students from all over and we opened up about our struggles with food, what food means to us, reflected on our 7-day diet diaries, ate in complete silence, at in conversation, focused on mindfulness, and most importantly identified what our food path and overall vision will be going forward.  The one comforting thing to me throughout the whole weekend was that all of the food was vegetarian/vegan.  For me, I didn’t have to step out of my familiarity of food at all which was nice considering everything else we were doing was so foreign.  All of the meals were nutrient dense, balanced with macronutrients, simple and most importantly, absolutely delicious.

On the second day, we were pressented with a hearty lentil soup.  Hearing those words alone made me feel content.  After a long day prior and a fairly exhausting morning, all I wanted was something comforting.  When the seasons begin to change from Summer to Fall, my heart becomes happy with the fact that it’s soup season.  If I had my way, I would eat soup everyday and everyday it would be lentil soup.  I absolutely live for this stuff.  I don’t know what it is about this particular soup that I’m so enamored with.  I didn’t grow up on it, in fact I’m not sure if my mom and I ever made it at home, but I seriously can’t get enough of it.

What better way to start off posting my very first recipe than to make lentil soup!  Of course any good soup starts off with a delicious stock.  I make my own stock with all my leftover veggie scraps, freeze them until I have two 2-gallon freezer bags full and then I cover them with water and boil everything for about 1-1.5 hours.  It’s seriously the easiest thing, plus it’s cheap and makes for way better soups. Give it a try sometime, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

For the Lentils:

I like to use green lentils for my soup because they don’t get too mushy when cooked for an hour.  It’s also important to soak your lentils and really any legumes, beans, seeds or nuts because of the phytic acid  it contains.  Phytic acid is considered an anti-nutrient, which means that is reduces important mineral absorption, such as zinc, iron, calcium and magnesium. Since many of us vegans tend to eat alot of these foods, it’s key to soak or buy these foods already sprouted so that mineral absorption is maximized.

Lentil Soup:
gluten free

  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalk, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup soaked green lentils
  • 1 Tb coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tb cumin
  • 4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Begin by sauteing all the vegetables and garlic in the coconut oil over med-high heat for about 7 minutes in a large pot.
  2. Add in Italian seasoning, cumin and lentils.  Stir to combine everything and to toast lentils; about 2 minutes
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock and cover, letting soup simmer for about an hour or until lentils are soft, but still have a bite.

I love to sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over the top and dunk a piece of toasted whole wheat bread, buttered with earth balance.  YUM!!!


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