Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creamy Lentil Soup

Continuing my recent focus on hot soup for cool days, this creamy, low-fat dish is super-easy and very inexpensive to make for a nutritious lunch or light dinner. I didn’t have any mixed frozen vegetables on hand, so I used a cup of frozen peas, a small can of niblet corn, and two handfuls of undressed coleslaw mix. Dollinks, it was fabulous!
Creamy Lentil Soup:
1 tbsp. canola oil or bacon fat
¼ c. artificial bacon bits (made from textured vegetable protein; alternately, use 2 slices of chopped bacon and omit oil or bacon fat)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 c. mixed dry lentils, rinsed in cold water
1-½ c. mixed frozen vegetables (or any vegetables of your choice)
8 c. water or stock (if using water, add 2 tbsp. chicken-flavored bouillon extract)
½ tsp. dried basil
Paprika, as garnish
Croutons, as garnish
Heat oil or bacon fat over medium stove-top setting. Add bacon bits and onion, stirring until bacon becomes soft and translucent. Add lentils, vegetables, water and extract (or stock), and basil. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partally covered, 45 min. until lentils are tender. Cool slightly, puréeing in blender in small batches. Serve hot with a flourish of paprika and a couple of croutons for each bowl of soup (one looks too lonely!). Makes 4 large servings.

These organic onions were so fresh
that the fumes made me cry! Cry!
Lentils, at your service!

Purée in blender: Feel the buzz!

Pour, garnish, and serve! Dee-li-shus!