Hearty and Healthy Lentil Soup

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When the weather turns chilly, what’s more comforting than a bowl of hot and hearty soup?

It’s the perfect thing for a cold winter day – a delicious dish that fills you with warmth and good cheer.

On a scale of one to ten, when it comes to taste, this is an 11! And the best news is that it’s super easy to make. There’s a little bit of prep work, but after that it can be made in the crock pot and left to simmer all day long!

Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Large carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 Stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 Potatoes. cut into small cubes
  • ½  Red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 Cups brown lentils, rinsed and picked through (or a package of Trader Joe’s pre-cooked packaged lentils works great!!) 
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • ¼ Cup plain tomato sauce
  • 2 Quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ Teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & Pepper 

 

Optional Ingredients

  • ½ Cup uncooked small pasta shells
  • ½ Cup diced smoked ham (that will be added when the vegetables are sweating in the oil)
  • 1 Sausage diced or sliced – spicy chicken sausage is excellent!
  • ½ Cup cannellini beans
  • ½ Cup croutons – add upon serving
  • A dash or two of Tabasco goes a long way too! 

 

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add onion, carrot, celery and pepper.   Allow to sweat or cook on the stovetop until the onions are translucent or you can see thru them (about 5 minutes). 

Add the lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings and allow to cook on a med-low simmer for about one hour.  Add spinach and cook for 10 more minutes.

Drizzle with a little more olive oil on top… mmmmm!!!!

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