The poor little lentil…. It by far one of the most delicious, affordable, nutritious, and yet widely ignored foods.
Nearing the top of the most-bang-for-your-buck list, a pound of lentils costs roughly sixty cents. Lentils are also jam packed with protein, fiber and nutrients. For a full breakdown of nutritional value, click HERE. To read it in a little more plain english, click HERE.
So what can you do with these simple legumes? Being the soup maven that I am, I will share two original recipes that are not only tasty, but nutritious and delicious as well. An added bonus is that you probably already have all the ingredients you need in your cupboards!
Lentils: Two Ways
Spicy Lentil Soup:
This one has a real Mediterranean taste to it, and is sure to please any palate.
– Packet of Ramen Noodles, chicken flavor
– 1 cup cooked lentils (save the cooking water)
– Fresh Carrots (sliced)
– Lima Beans, Corn (both frozen)
– Curry (2 or 3 tsp), salt & pepper
Put a few cups of water in your pot, and add the Ramen seasoning packet. Also, add the lentils and cooking water, along with the veggies. Begin to heat this mixture, while adding your seasoning to taste. When the carrots have softened and the soup is almost ready, break up the Ramen Noodles into 1/4 pieces and add them to the soup. In 3 minutes the noodles will be fully cooked, and your soup is ready to eat!
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Tomato Lentil Soup
This soup has the Mom’s Kitchen feel, and is perfect for anyone in need of a little extra TLC.
– 1 can of Tomato Soup
– 3/4 cup cooked lentils, still slightly firm (no need to save the water this time)
– 1/2 cup cooked rice
– Fresh Spinach (as much as you like!)
– Salt & Pepper
-Shredded cheese of your choosing
Prepare tomato soup according to directions, adding lentils and spinach before heating. Also add salt & pepper to taste. When the spinach is wilted and the soup is piping hot, mix in the rice. Put in a bowl, top with shredded cheese and enjoy!
Note: I add the rice after I put the soup in the bowl. If not, the rice will continue expanding, and if you have extra you want to save for lunch the next day, you will find the rice has absorbed all the liquid in the soup- leaving you with a tomato lentil mush. Just put the rice in a separate container, mix in before reheating, and you’ll be golden.