We have all been sick, strep throat hit our household with a vengeance! Preschoolers are like little carrier monkeys, aren’t they? I am not embarrassed to admit that we had ice cream for dinner one night. Coconut Bliss vanilla ice cream is amazing and really helps with that whole can’t swallow throat on fire feeling. Once the medicine kicked in I set to making a super healthy soup for us to all get well on. The first thing that comes to mind when I think healthy is lentil vegetable soup, heavy on the veggies. I made enough to feed us all with half left over to go into the freezer.
Lentil Vegetable Soup
3 TBS olive oil
1 small onion
1 small leek, white part only
3 stalks celery
10 fingerling potatoes, or 2 cups diced potato
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cup broccoli fleurettes
1.5 cups lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1.5 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar or red wine
1.5 tsp salt
fresh pepper to taste
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
This is a very easy soup to make, and very nourishing. The lentils pack a wonderful protein punch with the vegetables providing the micronutrients you need when fighting infection, or just average everyday stress. You can put any vegetables you like into this soup. I used what I had in my fridge. Soups are my favorite place to use veggies that are just a touch past their prime, but still looking for love.
Heat the oil on medium high heat and saute the onions and leek. If you don’t have a leek just use onion. I had 1.5 cups all together. When the onions are translucent but not yet browning add the garlic and saute for one minute. Then add the celery and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and saute for a few more minutes.
Pour in one carton of vegetable stock and 3-4 cups of water. You can also use two cartons of vegetable stock if you’d like. I was trying to be frugal. Add 1.5 cups lentils that you rinsed and picked out any rocks or debris that might be mixed in with them. I used your basic brown lentils, the wider variety. I like them best for soup. Add the thyme and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn to simmer. I like to partially cover the soup, so that 3/4 of the pot is covered but steam can escape. Simmer until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally. About 40 minutes. If your soups looks too thick at any point add more water.
When the lentils are soft add the vinegar and salt and pepper. Stir in your parsley leaving a bit for garnish if you’d like. Turn off heat, cover and let the soup sit for 10 minutes. The vinegar adds a really beautiful depth of flavor. My grandmother taught be that trick and I think the little hit of sourness really makes the soup.
We served our soup with a sprinkling of parsley on top, and some grated parmesan cheese. We also had some crusty bread toasted and rubbed with garlic, and then topped with sliced avocado. Drizzle a little balsamic on the avocado and watch it sing!
A votre santé!