Ridiculously Nutritious and Easy: Red Lentil Soup

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Maybe you can relate to my constant dilemma:  I love providing delicious, home cooked meals that are super-packed with nutrients for my family and me, BUT I don't have tons of time to cook!  I'm going to share with you one of my go-to recipes for Easy Red Lentil Soup. It doesn't take much time to prepare, it is delicious, comforting, and ridiculously nutritious. Major bonus: make as much as will fit into your soup pot and freeze half of it for another meal or 2, for those days when you really have no time to cook!   

Red lentils, unlike many of their lentil friends, cook very quickly.  There is no need to soak them first. Yay for that!  Red lentils are little nutrition powerhouses providing tons of protein at about 18g per cup.  Super high in fiber, 1 cup of lentils include more than half of your daily recommended fiber intake.  Also, high in folate and magnesium, red lentils keep your heart healthy by lowering inflammatory homocysteine in the body and keeping arteries and veins more relaxed.  With the added benefits of even more nutrients, including iron and zinc, red lentils are a YES for a healthy diet.

As you look at the recipe ingredients you will see nothing but a bevy of healthy ingredients including Cumin, Oregano, Tomatoes, and Spinach!!

I love this recipe because you really can't mess it up.  A little more of this or less of that... it's all good.  Make as much as you'd like by just increasing the amount of ingredients and freeze more for later!  Don't be turned off by the long list of ingredients.. they are all getting thrown into 1 pot!

Ingredients (*I always choose organic when I can):
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
3 T olive oil
6 peeled garlic cloves, minced
2 cups dry red lentils, rinsed in colander
3 T ground cumin
1 T ground paprika
3 T dry oregano
2 t of your favorite sea salt seasoning (mine is A.A. Borsari black label)
1-2 t freshly ground black pepper
1-2 C chicken broth (or veggie broth)
4-6 cups water
1 23 oz jar diced tomatoes
1 18 oz jar diced tomatoes
1 5 oz bag fresh spinach, chopped

In a large soup pot saute the chopped onion and chopped carrots in the olive oil until the onions are starting to get soft.  Stir in the minced garlic for another minute or so.  Now add the seasonings:cumin, paprika,oregano, and your fave sea salt seasoning (I LOVE the A.A. Borsari black label... I put this in pretty much everything).
After that is all stirred up add the chicken broth, water, and the rinsed red lentils. Cover half way and let that simmer for about 10 minutes on Medium heat.  Now add the diced tomatoes and stir. Simmer another 10 minutes, half covered, turn heat as low as you can while keeping the simmer.  Lastly, add the chopped fresh spinach and let that simmer another 5 minutes.  ENJOY!!!

**If you are looking at your soup and you think you want more broth, just add more water and chicken broth.  If you like more diced tomatoes, throw in another jar.  Adjust the seasonings to your taste. You can adjust this recipe to meet your likes and quantity desires.  I always freeze a container or 2 of this delicious soup! 

Please let me know if you make this soup!  I'd love to hear your favorite go-to recipes as well!!

Mary Evert, Creator

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