Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Curried Lentil Soup

I came across some lentils in the pantry today and decided that I was due to make some lentil soup for dinner.  Lentils are a fast cooking legume and taste wonderful in soups and stews.  This soup is ready in about 45 minutes (just long enough to fit in a quick workout while its simmering).  Lentils most likely originated in India and are still a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine.  As far as nutritional benefits they are an awesome source of protein, fiber, iron and a handful of vitamins and minerals.  They are considered a good food to lower cholesterol due to their fiber content!  1 cup provides about 229 calories, with little fat.

This soup gets it's pizzaz from the curry flavors and a bunch of onions.  It is absolutely delicious and so good for you!  Many soups are filling and are a comfort food that can fit into your everyday life.  Chose broth based soup over cream soup to cut down on fat and calories.


Curried Lentil Soup
Serves 6

1 Tbsp Canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp minced ginger
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Madras Curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 dried hot peppers
1 1/2 cups lentils
8 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth*
Fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup plain 0% greek yogurt, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

*(or 1 Tbsp Better than Bouillon with 8 cups water)

Directions:  Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, jalepeno, cinnamon, hot peppers, and bay leaves.  Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes.  Add lentils and broth and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.  Take soup off the heat, remove bay leaves and hot peppers.  Add lemon juice.  Garnish with greek yogurt and fresh cilantro.  Serve with a fresh salad and naan bread for an Indian inspired meal!

Nutrition Facts: 1 1/2 cups soup
200 calories, 14 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 15 g fiber, 469 mg sodium

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