Eating soups has many health benefits such as helping to fight cold season viruses. The veggies and spices used to prepare soups are generally full of vitamins, antioxidants, and good nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. Soups contain electrolytes that are essential for body function and as a liquid-based dish it keeps the body hydrated. Along with vegetables, soups may contain fatty fish, meat and plant-based protein. One can consume a good cup or bowl of soup until feeling full while keeping a low-calorie intake. This is particularly important for people who need to lose weight, reduce junk processed foods, and follow a healthy diet.
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Lentil Soup: Ingredients
▢2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
▢1 yellow onion, diced
▢2 large carrots, thinly sliced
▢4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
▢3 to 4 cups bite-sized chopped potatoes
▢1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
▢4 cloves garlic, minced
▢1 teaspoon sweet or smoky paprika, adjust spice to your own preference
▢1 teaspoon dried oregano
▢1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
▢1/4 teaspoon salt
▢1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
▢6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
▢3 sprigs fresh thyme
▢1 bay leaf
▢1 cup green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
▢3 dried red chili peppers, hot or sweet, tops removed, cut in fourths lengthwise (if you can't find any, use about 1 teaspoon more paprika + 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste)
▢3 cups chopped leafy greens
Heat olive oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
Add diced onions, carrots, celery, and potatoes to the hot oil; sauté for 8 minutes, or until veggies are slightly tender and browned. Stir often.
Stir in parsley and garlic; continue to cook for 1 more minute.
Season with paprika, oregano, rosemary, salt, and pepper; stir and cook for 1 more minute.
Add vegetable broth, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.
Stir in the lentils and the dry chili peppers, if using. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, until lentils and potatoes are tender.
Stir in leafy greens and continue to cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, or until wilted.
Remove from heat; taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs; serve.