A Grounding Lentil Soup To Energize You For The New Year

Photo: Christina Bedetta

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season! With the end of 2016 fast approaching, this is a perfect time to set some intentions and goals for the new year. These can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to relax, relieve stress, and take care of yourself, or as ambitious as working towards eating a more nutrient-rich, plant-based diet.

Today I am sharing a recipe for lentil soup which, according to my beloved nana, will always bring good luck for the new year. The following is my simplified and vegan version of her traditional Italian recipe.

In addition to flavor, it is packed with protein, iron, and fiber from the lentils, powerful antioxidants such as vitamin A from the carrots, and various healing properties from the spices such as cumin, coriander, and garlic. Here's to a happy and healthy new year! Enjoy!

Lentil + Vegetable Soup

Ingredients*

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 cup dry green (French) lentils
  • 4-6 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup macaroni or small pasta shapes of choice, optional
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach or kale
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • Fresh basil or favorite herbs to garnish

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and spices, and sauté 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.

2. Add in lentils and broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are fully cooked and tender. You may add pasta in the last 10 minutes of cooking, if desired.

3. At this point, you may stir in your spinach and season with sea salt. Allow to simmer for about 2 minutes more, then remove from heat and serve.

*Recipe can easily be doubled to make a larger batch!

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