Every culture on earth has soup as part of its cuisine. That is no accident. They are packed with nutrients, come in multiple flavors, and taste amazing.
Nothing beats a warm bowl of lentil and vegetable soup on a cold day, curled up in your favorite nook, reading a book, watching a movie, or just contemplating the world.
When your body is weary from illness or just fatigue, a nourishing bowl of soup will soon have you on the mend.
This delicious lentil and vegetable soup sustain not just your soul but your body as well.
Here are a few benefits it offers your body:
- Protein-packed lentil and vegetable soup have a lower calorie to fullness ratio. Calories give us energy, but all unused calories are turned into fats, which appear around our midriff and other unsightly places. Lentil and vegetable soup provide you with energy without risking weight gain.
- Lentils have been found to be a great alternative to animal proteins. One cup contains 18mg of protein, the third-highest of any protein source. A third of the calories in lentils are made up of protein.
- Lentils are also inexpensive compared to animal-based protein sources. As such, it can provide protein to those who may otherwise be unable to afford it.
- The 6.6mg of iron and high fiber levels found in a cup of lentils aid in slow-burning energy. The iron builds blood which helps in moving oxygen around the body. You feel powered throughout the day after a bowl of lentil and vegetable soup.
- The fibers, magnesium, and folic acid contained in lentils are great for your heart and your digestive system, as well as your blood sugars.
- A cup of lentils contributes about 4% of your daily calcium needs. Soaking, fermenting, or sprouting them increases the amount of calcium available. This calcium is vital for bone formation.
- Lentils are wonderful when you are pregnant due to folic acid that aids in fetus development. It can decrease heart and diabetic complications for pregnant women who are prone to these conditions.
Here is a recipe for a protein-packed lentil and vegetable soup that is both flavourful and nourishing.
Protein-Packed Lentil and Vegetable Soup Recipe
This soup serves four people and takes about 10 minutes to prepare. Add 40 minutes of cooking time to that, and you will have your soup in just under an hour.
The ingredients you need
Lentils come in a variety of colors- brown, red, yellow, and black. Red and yellow lentils give you a thicker soup. This recipe calls for brown lentils.
- 1 cup brown lentils.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- 4 cups vegetable stock.
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano and thyme and a bay leaf.
- Chilli flakes (optional).
- Salt and paper.
- Fresh parsley.
- A large potato.
- 1 diced large onion.
- 2 minced cloves of garlic.
- 2 each of celery sticks and carrots.
- 2 cups each of spinach and cauliflower. You can use broccoli instead of cauliflower.
- 1 zucchini.
- Dice all the vegetables into 1cm pieces.
- Warm up the oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and fry until translucent. Throw in the minced garlic and then the celery and carrots. Stir them together for a while. A quick tip; cooking the garlic after the onions gives greater control over how long the garlic cooks.
- Add the potato, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, lentils, oregano and thyme, and the bay leaf. Pour in the vegetable stock.
- Reduce the heat once boiled, let it simmer until the lentils are tender. This should take about 40 minutes. Don’t forget to stir your meal so that it doesn’t clamp together. As the soup simmers, use a spoon to remove the foam and any impurities that rise to the top.
- When lentils are tender, take out the bay leaf and throw in the chopped parsley and spinach—season with salt and pepper. If you’d like a bit of fire to your soup, sprinkle in the chili flakes as well.
Your protein-laden lentil and vegetable soup goes well with a variety of dishes. You can pair it with almost any carbohydrate option. It all depends on preference or availability.
The soup is excellent with different types of bread, for a filling meal have it with rice and noodles. You can also make this soup part of a salad. Once again, let your creative muses lead you, within reason, of course.
Nutritional Value per Serving
- Kilojoules: 957
- Total Fat: 9.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
- Sodium: 1,082 mg
- Total carbs: 31.0 g
- Dietary fiber: 6.7 g
- Protein 7.9 g
- This recipe is the classic version of the lentil and vegetable soup. You can vary the ingredients according to personal preference or availability. You can also play around with the procedure to create a soup that is more to your taste.
- Have fun removing and adding ingredients to craft your delectable masterpiece.
- It is alright to pre-soak the lentils. But failing to do that won’t break the dish. Just make sure you wash it in cold water until it runs clear.
- Boiling your lentils makes them mushy, which may not be the effect you are going for. If you want them tender but whole, you need to simmer them over a slow fire.
- Lentils cause stomach gas for some. This is uncomfortable but shouldn’t scare away from its massive benefits. Pre-soaking or pre-cooking helps with this.
Soak the lentils for about three hours in cold water. This also makes them more tender when cooked.
Also, if you are new to lentils and suffer from gas, you can reduce your intake. As your stomach gets used to digesting lentils you can gradually increase your portions.
Lentil and vegetable soup are a wholesome, healthy, and delicious alternative to meat-based soups that you must try. It is simple to prepare and pairs wonderfully with a variety of foods. The recipe is also variable so that the soup never gets boring.