Recipe: Healthy Lentil Soup
Now that fall is slowly coming to an end, and colder days are near -- this Healthy Lentil Soup is the perfect meal for cozy evenings. Whether you're cooking for your family or just yourself, there will always be enough of this hearty meal to go around.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6-8)
½ lb. dried, small, brown lentils
½ cup Kosterina extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium stalk of celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 med. bay leaves
1 cup thick tomato sauce (passata)
7-8 cups water
1-2 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 TBSP. dried Greek oregano
1-1½ tsp. fine sea salt
3 TBSP. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
Kosterina extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1. Rinse your lentils well under cold water and place them in a medium pot. Add enough water to cover them and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Empty the lentils into a colander and discard the water.
2. Return the lentils into the pot, add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, tomato sauce, 8 cups of fresh water and the paprika and pepper. (Hold off on adding the salt and the oregano). Cover the pot and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce the heat, partially uncover the pot and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the lentils and the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano and the salt and cook for 5-10 more minutes or until the soup is reduced and slightly thickened. Remove the bay leaves.
4. Just before serving, drizzle the red wine (or even better, balsamic) vinegar and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into small soup bowls and serve with an extra drizzle of Kosterina olive oil and some good crusty bread.
According to the Greek philosopher Hesiod, lentil soup represents the merits of hard work: humility, moderation and simplicity. Made with simple ingredients, lentils are rich in minerals and protein and at the same time they are very tasty and good for you. A high quality olive oil rounds up the flavors in this delicious, hearty and healthy soup!