About 4 years ago, we served as full-time volunteers for a program in Chicago called Amate House. Amate House volunteers live in community and have very simple lifestyles. In short, we lived with a bunch of other people and had very little money for food. Since lentils, beans, rice, and pasta are fairly cheap and feed a lot of people, we ate these items for dinner more often than not. After our year in Amate, Sean vowed he would never eat another lentil again. That is, until now.
Through her work as a dietitian, Kate receives a number of nutrition based emails daily. This recipe came across her inbox last week. Not only did Sean love it, we decided it was deserving of a blog post! Lentils have made a comeback, big time.
Please enjoy. And to fellow Amate volunteers: believe it or not, lentils can be apart of a normal post-Amate lifestyle.
Spiced Lentil Soup
Slightly adapted from the Chicago Tribune
Tips: This recipe will work using any type of potatoes or lentils (except the red ones; they will disintegrate during cooking).
Prep: 30 minutes Cook: 1 hour Makes: 10 cups (This recipe could easily be halved)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion
- 5 chopped potatoes, cut into 1-inch dices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 each, cut into 1/2-inch pieces: carrots, celery ribs (We added double this)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon each: ground cloves, ground ginger, red pepper flakes, black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups French green lentils (The green lentils really seemed to hold up better then any other lentil we’ve ever cooked with)
- 2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup each, chopped: cilantro, parsley (We didn’t use this, and don’t think it would have made a huge difference)
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil; heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic, carrots and celery; cook 5 minutes. Add bay leaves, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
2. Sort the lentils; rinse. Add to the saucepan. Add the stock. Cover; heat to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer; cook until lentils and vegetables are tender, about 50 minutes.
3. Transfer 2 cups of the lentils with a little of the stock to a blender; puree. Return to the saucepan. Stir in the soy sauce, cilantro and parsley.
Nutrition Information Per cup: 156 calories, 17% of calories from fat, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 119 mg sodium, 6 g fiber