One soup to rule them all

I know I have posted a lot of soups, but I did mention my fondness for soup 🙂  This lentil based soup is one of my favourites because it is so easy to throw together, it’s healthy and also satisfies my need for a savory broth soup.  I make this soup several times a month and never get bored with it!

This soup also makes me think of Christmas, so it seems like good timing.  Solely for the vibrant red and green colors in the soup though, don’t worry it doesn’t have a pine flavour 🙂

Veggie Lentil soup

lentil1

Ingredients

Brown lentils (one large can cooked or 1 – 1.5 cups dry lentils)

1 yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

diced tomatoes ( 1 can or 3 raw)

6 cups veggie or chicken broth

3 cups baby spinach leaves

2 tsp ground cumin*

1 tsp paprika

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

* I really like spiced foods and the flavour of cumin.  If you aren’t sure of your love for cumin yet, start with 1 tsp of cumin and add more as you taste the broth.

Directions:

1.) Saute the onions and garlic in about 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until the onions get soft and translucent (usually 5 mins)

2.) Add carrots, bell pepper and tomatoes, then cook for about 3 minutes, then add the spices (cumin, paprika, salt and pepper) and stir to coat them.  Cook 2-3 minutes more.

3.) Add the broth and the lentils and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let the soup simmer.  If you used canned lentils you only need to let it simmer for 5-8 minutes or until you are ready to serve the soup.  If you used dry lentils it will be 20-30 minutes.  Check for the lentils to be tender before moving on.

4.) When the lentils are cooked through and you are ready to serve the soup, add in the spinach.  Stir until it is wilted, which should be about 2 mins.  Taste the broth and add more salt/ pepper… or cumin if necessary.

5.) Serve and enjoy the delicious soup!  It is also tasty topped with parmesan and served with fresh homemade bread 🙂

 

So I can now knock off my list: cumin and paprika

spices cumin

I am not sure if my paprika is too old or what, but I am not sure what flavor it is really adding.  The cumin however, that you can taste!

Cumin is one of my favourite spices, but it isn’t for everyone and can be quite pungent to some.  Cumin is actual related to carrots and parsley. It is a major ingredient in chili powders, curry powders and taco seasonings and commonly found in Middle Eastern, Asian, Mediterranean, Northern African, Indian, and Mexican cuisine.  Here are some health benefits of cumin:

Aids in digestion

Aids liver function

contains the essential mineral magnesium

An excellent source of iron

Helps with insomnia

Can help control Diabetes

cumin-and-coriander

For other recipes using cumin check out these recipes from Real Simple.

Hopefully you can find a way to add a little cumin into your life and onto your plate!

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