Guest Post: Hearty Lentil Soup

It’s Wednesday! Time for a guest post! Today’s recipe is courtesy of Liliana, one of my fellow Food Bloggers of Canada members.

Liliana runs the My Cookbook Addiction blog, reviewing cookbooks and cooking up a storm in her Quebec kitchen. She can also be found on twitter, at @cbookaddiction, or on Facebook here.

This soup is one of my comfort foods that my Mom used to make. Whenever it’s simmering on my stove, the wonderful aroma brings back memories of my childhood when my Mom used to tell us that this soup was not only delicious but also nourishing and eating it would help us grow up strong and healthy.

In fact, it is a delicious soup that’s also easy to make. Mom was right (as usual) about being nourishing. According to WHFOODS:

“Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up–not out.”

I tweak Mom’s each time I make it. Sometimes I add spinach or kale to the soup and serve with small pasta and sometimes I just serve it on its own. Now I find myself repeating the same words as Mom when I serve it to my family.

Hearty Lentil Soup Recipe
Serves 4-6.

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped,
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup dried lentils
Salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cups washed spinach, chopped (optional)
2 cups small pasta, cooked (optional)
Extra virgin olive for serving

In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, heat the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until hot and add the onions, celery, celery leaves and carrots. Stir and cook vegetables until soft.

Add the diced tomatoes and stock, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the lentils and spinach (if using) and bring to a boil.

Stir, turn down the heat and then simmer for about one hour or until the lentils are cooked. If the soup becomes too thick, add more stock or water.

Serving suggestion:

Divide cooked pasta (if using) into soup bowls. Ladle in the lentil soup. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty Italian bread.

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