Lentil Leftover Soup


The South Arm Older Adults Cooking Club met again for another cooking session.

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Michelle, the facilitator of the kitchen calls this Lentil Leftover Soup. You can use any leftover vegetables like spinach, rapini, swiss chard, etc in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetables or chicken broth or water
  • 2 cups lentils (brown)
  • 1 x 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt if using water (a pinch if using broth)
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • spinach (we used baby spinach) or any leftover leafy vegetables

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Soaking the lentils helps the body to absorb its nutrients more easily.

Michelle shared the health benefits of eating lentils from mindbodygreen.com in the kitchen.

  1. Lower Cholesterol – Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
  2. Heart Health – Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease. Lentils are also a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly associated with heart disease, so eating lentils will keep your heart happy.
  3. Digestive Health – Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestion disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
  4. Stabilized Blood Sugar – Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing down digestion and stabilizing blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
  5. Good Protein – Of all the legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
  6. Increase Energy – Lentils increase steady, slow burning energy due to its fiber and complex carbohydrates. Lentils are also a good source of iron, which transports oxygen throughout your body and is key to energy production and metabolism.


Instructions

023Heat oil, add chopped vegetables. Saute for a few minutes until slightly tender.
039Add broth, lentils, tomatoes and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.Stir in balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
057Stir in chopped spinach (or other leafy vegetables) at the end and cook for another 5 minutes.

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