Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Feel Better Food -- With Recipe!

Perhaps, like my mother, you have been wondering how I'm feeling since I got back from my roadtrip. After a week of meals on the go and McDonalds: The Official Breakfast of Road Trips, I haven't been feeling so well.

So last weekend, I made a big pot of lentil soup and thawed out some wheat ciabatta that I had in my freezer. It was just what I needed -- delicious, healthy, and easy on my tummy.

Give this recipe a try, but feel free to make it your own. I rarely make this soup the same way twice. It comes out great with just water, but if you have chicken or vegetable stock on hand, go ahead and use it.

Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 cups lentils, rinsed and drained (go ahead and use a whole bag if you have it, just increase the liquid slightly)
8 C. water
3 red bliss potatoes, peeled and cut in about 1/2-inch dice
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute until onion is clear, approx. 5-7 minutes. (I always season the veggies with salt and pepper as they saute.) Add cumin and garlic, saute 1 minute.

2. Add lentils and water. Stir. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook soup 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take this opportunity to clean up the mess you just made.

3. Add potatoes, then continue cooking 20-25 minutes, or until potatoes and lentils are almost done. Add water as needed to create a good soup consistency (the potatoes will thicken the soup quite a bit).

4. Add frozen spinach, raise heat slightly, and allow spinach to thaw in the soup. When soup returns to a simmer and spinach is thawed and stirred through, check potatoes and lentils for doneness. Keep simmering until desired texture is reached. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

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