Easy, Nutrient-packed Lentil Soup

Prep Time:

10 minutes

Cook Time:

20 minutes

Serves:

4

Level:

Beginner

About the Recipe

Sometimes I get tired of running to the grocery store every few days when I run out of the immediate essentials. The kids complain there’s no food in the house, but I know we have LOTS of food! That’s when I start digging in the pantry to see what I can make. On one of these occasions, I found a bag of lentils, so I thought, why not lentil soup? It’s wholesome, nutritious and delicious! I also happened to have some leftover ground pork, so I added some Italian sausage seasoning to it to add that sausage umami taste to the soup. I always look for an opportunity to add extra veggies, so I threw in some greens at the end. It came out better than I expected!

Ingredients

1 medium onion, diced

3 medium carrots, diced

3 medium stalk of celery, diced

4 medium cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp dried thyme

½ to 1 tsp sea salt, depending on your taste

1 ½ cups dry brown lentils

4 cups bone broth (see recipe here) or vegetable broth (see recipe here)

1lb ground pork or chicken seasoned with italian seasoning (see recipe below), optional

4-6 cups chopped baby spinach or kale


Italian Sausage Seasoning

1lb ground chicken or pork

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt


Add spices to the meat, mix well and cook according to your recipe.

Preparation

I use an Instant Pot, but you can also use a regular pot on the stove if you don’t have one.  Let the pot heat up, add around 1 Tbsp oil and then add the onions.  Saute for a few minutes until they have softened a bit, then add the seasoned pork or chicken, if using. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, then add the other ingredients up to the salt.  Stir everything together and cook for around a minute.  Add the lentils and the broth and give it a stir.  If you are using the instant pot, put on the lid and set the timer for 12 minutes.  If you are using a regular pot on the stove, after adding the lentils and broth, bring it to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the lentils are done. With the Instant Pot, use a quick release.  If it seems too thick, add some water until it gets to the consistency that you like.  Stir in the spinach or kale.  Put the lid back on and let it sit a few minutes until the greens are wilted.  Serve immediately or store in the fridge or freezer.  You can serve this the way it is or sprinkled with parmesan.