Saturday, January 5, 2013

Rustic Lentil Soup

On the weekends, when I have time I like to cook big! What I mean by "cook big" is I like to cook things I may not have the time or patience for during the week. In this case I cooked a large pot of lentil soup that my family enjoyed through out the week and I even had some left over to freeze. This may not be the most beautiful dish but it sure tastes good and it sticks with you during your busy day.

I found this "Rustic Lentil Soup" recipe in Teresa Giudice Fabulicious Fat & Fit cookbook. I own all three of Teresa's cookbooks and I absolutely love her quick, easy and low fat meals. She even breaks down the nutrition facts in the back of the book so it makes it easy to figure out the weight watcher point values. You will see me reference her recipes again and again. 

The picture shown here is the next day, after the lentils thickened in the fridge over night. I like the thick hearty lentils but if you want it thin like soup, I will explain how to do that below. This is one serving of lentils. 

Makes 10 to 12 servings
1lb of lentils
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 large celery ribs, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup drained canned plum tomatoes, broken up
1 1/2 tsp of oregano (dried or fresh, I always use fresh herbs when I can)
3 dried bay leaves
2 cups small shell pasta
salt and freshly ground pepper

*Tip: Take the time to prep everything before hand! The vegetables  the spices, and all other ingredients should be chopped, diced, measured and ready to add to the pot before you even start. 

1. Put the lentils in a colander. Rinse under cold water and sort through to discard any stones or other things you don't want in your soup. Drain and set aside

2. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, oregano, and bay leaves. Pour in 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water (I used 5 cups of vegetable stock to extra flavor). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Stir in the pasta and 3 cups of water, and return to a boil over high heat. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. (For a thinner soup, add water as desired; for a thicker soup, just let simmer, stirring occasionally.) Remove the bay leaves. Serve hot.

This soup tastes even better the next day, but it will thicken in your fridge so add water when reheated in desired (I don't mind the thickness) 

Weight Watchers Point Plus Value: 5 points plus per serving 
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 234
Carbohydrate 41g
Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
Fiber 11g
Protein 14g
Sodium 239mg

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