So to begin the parade of winter soups that are keeping me warm… Lentil soup. The real reason I made this soup was to use up this huge container of Power Greens that I purchased from Costco. Forgot to check the expiration date, oops, and they were nearing their time. So I cooked them into this soup and they were fabulous! (I also cooked them with bacon, garlic, and chili pepper, recipe coming soon.) So thank you Power Greens and Costco for helping me create new recipes.
Eating healthy is so challenging when you work a completely random schedule and you aren’t diligent with expiration dates. But it is doable. The first step is planning out meals. Soups make it so easy to have a healthy lunch. You can make this huge pot of soup, freeze a couple portions, and eat it for lunch two more days. When I was portioning my soup, I actually left out the greens from what I was planning to freeze.
There is something really comforting about lentils. They are hearty, but pretty low cal and nutritious. This soup makes a total of 12 cups, each cup is 200 calories. I portion it out into 1.5 cup servings, this makes a very filling lunch for 300 calories. So for anyone else who’s constantly logging into myfitnesspal, this is a great recipe. It is definitely not lacking in flavor despite the little dent it makes in your food diary.
I think that this has potential for a fridge clearing soup as well… You could add really any hearty green to this soup (kale, spinach, chard). I added all 3 of them with my power greens blend. You could also use really any different sausage and any stock that you have on hand or that needs to be used. I like the spicy italian chicken sausage from Whole Foods, it has great flavor and is lower on the calories. I think chorizo would be really fabulous as well.
3 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups green lentils
2 bay leaves
1 lb spicy italian chicken sausage
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup sturdy red wine
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups chicken or beef stock (preferably homemade)
2 cups chopped spinach or kale or chard (or all 3)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red wine vinegar, for serving
Boil a kettle of water. In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon pieces over medium heat until they are browned and the fat is rendered. Remove bacon to a bowl. Swirl in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula constantly. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon.
Rinse the lentils in cold water. Place the lentils in a saucepan over medium heat, add the boiling water from the kettle. Stir them often, cooking them over medium heat. Keep an eye on them, but chop the vegetables. If all the water gets absorbed, add more hot water.
Saute the onions until they are translucent, for about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic for 1 min, add in the bay leaf. Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pot.
Mix in the lentils with the cooking water (not too much water though), add the stock, the chicken sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste (I added 1 tbsp of salt at least, but taste it and see how you feel). Cook for 10 minutes longer, simmering. Serve with red wine vinegar.