Friday, June 26, 2009

Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup

One of my favourite things to cook is soup, believe it or not. I have to say I much prefer homemade soups over the canned or packet varieties especially when the soup is packed with healthy ingredients. Soups are a recipe that once all the ingredients are prepared and you have starting cooking they can generally be left to simmer away without too much fuss or drama.

Another reason I love cooking soups is that there really aren't any boundries to the flavours and textures you can produce. This soup is a classic example. It all started with a recipe that was put forward on another forum for Tomato, Celery and Lentil Soup. Now instead of being turned off by "celery" in the title, indicating it would be a dominant flavour, which would not be a hit with my family at all, I modified it to suit us and now I have a huge pot full that will make some delicious filling lunches over the weeks to come.

Just as I adapted this recipe to suit my household, you could add any vegetables to this dish, literally whatever you have on hand. The herbs and spices could be changed also to suit your tastebuds, for example ground cumin, ground coriander, thyme, rosemary, etc. Once you have a base, such as tomato in this recipe, as I mentioned you can literally add anything to it you like even meat.

Red Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Serves: 12
Points per serve: 1

cooking spray
1 leek, finely sliced
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
2 carrots, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
2 x 440 gram tins diced tomatoes
8 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or to taste)
400 grams dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
3 medium zucchini, finely diced
200g baby spinach leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Saute the leeks and the garlic until tender. Add carrots and capsicum and continue to saute for a further 4 - 5 minutes.

Mix the stock powder with the water and add to the saucepan along with the tomatoes, oregano, chilli powder, red lentils and stir to combine thoroughly. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the lentils are cooked. Stir in the zucchini and cook for a further 15 - 20 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Prior to serving add the spinach leaves, stirring until wilted.

1 comment:

Creative Classroom Core said...

Ive been looking for a good recipe to use up the lentils in my cupboard! This looks great!