Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heart Healthy Lentil Vegetable Soup

I've got to be quick about this as I'm late for the roundup at Heart of the Matter. Brought to us by Joanna, Ilva, and Michelle, this great blog offers up healthy, low fat, good-for-you recipes from bloggers around the world. Our mission for HotM 11 was to come up with a heart healthy soup. Joanna will have the roundup posted in the next few days so be sure to visit. I know there will be some fantastic recipes there that you'll want to try for yourselves.

Lentils, one of the world's healthiest foods, celeriac, sunchokes, carrots, celery, rutabagas, onions, garlic and Meyer lemon juice for some pizazz. Fabulously healthy ingredients all gently cooked together in a vegetable stock. What more could you want on a cold winter's day? A hint of olive oil is used to sauté the onions and garlic, otherwise there is no added fat. The combined tastes of all the vegetables is so good that I didn't even add herbs - just a touch of kosher salt.

As you can see in this photo, I added some local canned albacore, a slice of whole wheat walnut bread, and topped the dish with grated parmesan but these can easily be left out without sacrificing taste. In fact if you left out the tuna and the cheese, this would be perfect for vegan friends and family.

So let's get to it. This recipe is easy as pie: You count the ingredients in the photo above and use that much for a very large pot of soup. Cut the amount in half and you will still have enough for two plus leftovers for your workday lunch.

Heart Healthy Lentil Vegetable Soup
Christine's original recipe
6 Celery stalks with some leaves, sliced thin
4 Rutabagas, peeled and cut into chunks
4-6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large celeriac, peeled and cut into chunks
5 or so sunchokes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1-2 teaspoons olive oil for the pan
3 quarts good, organic vegetable stock
1 heaping cup lentils, washed and picked through for debris
1 can gourmet canned albacore tuna (optional)
juice from 2 Meyer lemons
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
shavings of parmesan cheese (optional)
Have a heavy skillet and a large soup pot on the stove.
Put the soup pot on a back burner, put in the vegetable stock and bring it to a simmer, covered.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions until they are soft. Add the garlic and sauté a few minutes more until the aromas come up and they are softly cooked then add them to
the vegetable stock.
Add the lentils to the stock and cook for about 15 minutes until beginning to soften.
Add the rest of the prepared vegetables to the stock and bring to a simmer. Allow to everything to cook gently until all the vegetables are tender and the lentils are done.
Add the Meyer lemon juice then the kosher salt and pepper to taste
To your good health!

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