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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lentil Soup for Lunch!



I put together this recipe because of being inspired by Jamie Oliver's old show, Oliver's Twist.  I wish I would have taken a picture today because it was so lovely!  Maybe I'll get the chance to with leftovers tomorrow.  Anyway, it's very simple to make and pretty hearty.  Serve with some toasted fresh bread and a salad.  Another yummy idea would be to toast your bread and put a layer of labneh on top (yogurt cheese). Yum!

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken broth - i made it with better than bullion
1 cup green entils - rinsed and picked through
2 leaks washed and chopped - i didn't use the upper portion of leaves
2 carrots, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme - leaves removed and stems discarded
crushed red pepper
fresh ground sea salt
fresh ground pepper
sour cream

Directions:
1. Saute the leeks and carrots in butter over medium/low heat till carrots are almost tender.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
2. Add in the chicken broth and lentils.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Add in the thyme and crushed red pepper to taste.  SImmer for another 15 minutes or till lentils are tender. Add a bit more water in the end if needed to make soupy.
3. If desired, use an immersion blender to blend up the soup a bit.  It makes the soup much more creamy.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.  
5. Serve with a dollup of sour cream on the top and sprinkle with fresh herbs of choice.

Another option is to grate some fresh parmesan cheese.  About 1/2 cup and add it to the soup.  Stir in until it melts.  

Lentils do not seem to be as widely known here in the states as they are in other countries.  Lentils have an advantage over beans in that they are more easily digestible.  They also contain large amounts of protein, b vitamins and more.  To find out more about the health benefits of lentils, visit the below site. 

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52

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