I remain a fan of lentils, but now buy them in smaller quantities. Low in calories and high in soluble fiber, lentils (as well as dried beans and tofu) are a tasty, low-fat meat alternative found in many recipes - including the soup I’ve just made! Unlike dried beans, lentils require no soaking. I prefer not to use canned lentils when dried ones are inexpensive and readily available year-round.
Lentil Soup with Spinach:
2 c. mixed, dried lentils, well rinsed and picked over for small stones or twigs
5 c. commercial or homemade beef bouillon (I used my Beef Stock, blogged March 9, 2012)
5 c. water
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 large stalks celery, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. salt (see Note)
1 tsp. coarsely ground pepper
¼ tsp. hot sauce
One - 10 oz. (284 mL) pkg. fresh baby spinach, stems removed
Grated Parmesan cheese, as garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients except spinach and cheese in very large pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, immediately reducing to simmer. Cover and simmer 20-to-45 min. or until lentils become tender, depending on their age. Stir in spinach during final minute of cooking. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese. Serves 6-to-8.
Note: Reduce salt to taste if using bouillon concentrate or cubes.
|Chop one large onion|
|Four celery stalks ... add all prepared ingredients to pot|
|Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook|
|Add grated cheese for the finishing touch|