Having a few pantry staples can help you put together a few quick and comforting meals. These are items you should try to always have on hand, like canned tomatoes and tuna, so you create quick, easy and hearty meals for yourself and your family.
Lentils are one of those staple items. While dried lentils might seem a little intimidating if you’ve never cooked with them before, they’re actually one of the easier beans/legumes to prepare. You can use them to make a soup, add them to stews, make as veggie burgers and much more!
This recipe is a guide to get you started on how to make a lentil soup. Below there are suggestions for items that you can substitute depending on what you have on hand!
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 carrot stalks, sliced thin
- 3 celery stalks, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper,
- 2 cups potatoes, diced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can – 28 ounces – low-sodium diced tomatoes
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups fresh greens
- Heat a Dutch-oven over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Once hot, add carrots and celery.
- Season with black pepper and stir.
- Sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Add in garlic and onion and continue sautéing for 2 additional minutes.
- Add potatoes and season with a little bit more pepper. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, tomatoes and herbs and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a rolling boil. Then add lentils and stir.
- Once simmering again, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 20-25 minutes – or until lentils and potatoes are tender.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, more pepper, more herbs, and more vegetable broth (if it’s gotten too thick).
- Add the garlic and onion mid-way through the celery and carrots sautéing to avoid them browning, however, you could add everything all at once. Just monitor so the garlic and onions don’t brown.
- Shallots were used in this recipe, but you can use a leek, yellow onion, Vidalia onions, whatever onion family member you have.
- You can use potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or any squash you have on hand.
- Fresh rosemary sprigs were used. For 2 fresh sprigs of rosemary, the equivalent would be 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (1 sprig = 1 teaspoon dried)
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stove and add more vegetable broth as needed.
- When you reheat the soup is when you can add greens if and when you have those available.
- To perk up the soup just before serving, top with a drizzle of peppery olive oil or a dollop of plain yogurt.
Nutritional information: Per serving (based on 4 servings): Calories 326, Fat 0g, Carbohydrates 50g, Fiber 9g, Protein 14g, Sodium 162mg.
About the Author
Amy Kimberlain is a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and Care Specialist (CDCES) with Community Health  at Baptist Health South Florida. Ms. Kimberlain has 20 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics. Active in the community, she has contributed her expertise to various public health initiatives, including childhood obesity, diabetes and family health. Ms. Kimberlain is an academy media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. She earned bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and Spanish from Florida State University. She is also an avid runner and registered yoga teacher.