Lucy’s Lentil Soup
Lentils are a staple in our house as they were when I was growing up! My mom would prepare this homemade lentil soup every Friday night for dinner and freeze the rest for another night. We would typically have this as a first dish, before fish or even a slice of pizza, eating lentil soup at least once a week sometimes twice a week. My mom took the subway to work and when there were train-delays, there wasn’t always time to make homemade soup. She would open a can of lentil soup, and “doctor-it-up” with garlic and a drop of olive oil. Whether homemade or canned, she would change it-up and add tubetti-pasta or rice, instead of the chopped potato.
Lentils are a member of the family of PULSES (beans, dry peas, chickpeas, and lentils) that are rich in protein, fiber, potassium, iron, folate and are low in fat! A 1/2-cup serving of cooked lentils contains about 9 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, 365 milligrams potassium and less than 0.5 grams of fat.
Eating lentils and other PULSES helps promote hearth health, weight management and diabetes. Handed down from generation-to-generation, Italians believe eating lentils (and grapes) when the clock strikes midnight of the New Year, will bring good luck and wealth! And as my mother and my grandmother always said, “If you have your health you have wealth“!
IngredientsBrown Lentils, 1-pound bag dried
Onions, 1 cup chopped
Celery 1 cup chopped
Potato, one medium, chopped (Optional)
Garlic, 1 medium smashed
Water, Chicken or Vegetable Broth, 4-6 cups
Olive oil, ¼ cup
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, ¼ teaspoon (optional) to taste
Kitchen Tools: large saucepan, wooden spoon or large spoon for stirring, ladle to serve.
In large saucepan, sauté garlic, onion and carrots until celery and onions are translucent,
Add the lentils and sauté about 5 more minutes.
Add the water or broth and potato to pot, bring to a boil on high heat . Then lower heat to medium. Stir-in crushed red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer and stir until potatoes are tender and lentils are cooked, about 45-60-minutes. This is a heartier soup – a thick consistency, like porridge or stew. For a thinner “soupy” soup add more liquid while cooking, about 7-8 cups.
Ladle into bowl and serve