I consider myself a newcomer to the lentil party. I’ve been trying different dishes with lentils and I am pleasantly surprised at how much I like them. I have tried different dishes throughout the years and loved them, but they have always intimidated me. I saw lentils as just another dried bean and thought I didn’t have the time to cook them…I was so wrong.
Lentils are in the same family as beans, called pulses, but they take much less time to cook…like 200% less time (this is 100% approximate). It takes me at least 3 hours to cook pinto beans from scratch and these lentils take 30 minutes to cook – that’s pretty dang quick for something with this much nutrition.
Let’s break this down:
- High in fiber! I used whole green lentils in this dish and in one serving, you’ll get about 9 grams of fiber – that’s crazy. As an adult female, I need 25 grams per day and men need 38, so this is a huge chunk of fiber.
- Good source of protein – In one 1/2 cup serving, one bowl of soup, you’ll have 12 grams of protein. This kept me fueled all afternoon after just one bowl and some toasty croutons.
- Folate extravaganza! For women of childbearing age, folate is important to prevent neural tube defects in babies. One half cup is going to give you 10% of your daily folate. That’s pretty good. Lentils.org claims that lentils have the most folate of any plant food. Dang!
This soup is pretty easy to come together. It’s one of those soups that is perfect for a crisp Fall day and tastes amazing as it starts to cool down. It’s made with common ingredients, so you shouldn’t need to run out and get anything. I added turmeric, not only for color, but because it’s a really powerful spice that may help reduce inflammation – black pepper helps your body absorb it better. All good things.
I hope you try this – add some crusty bread to the side…because you’re going to need it.
Mediterranean Lemon Lentil Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Sarah Pflugradt
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 4-5 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 finely diced fresh garlic
- 1 cup whole green lentils
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- zest and juice of 1 lemon – about 1/4 cup juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on the salt content of your stock)
- extra lemon slices for garnish
- black pepper for garnish
- In a medium sized Dutch oven or pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onions, and carrots
- Sauté for 5 minutes
- Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chopped garlic – sauté for 1 minute
- Add lentils and stock
- Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes – adjusting the temperature to keep a simmer
- When lentils are soft, add salt, lemon zest and juice and whisk for 1-2 minutes to allow the starches to come out of the lentils
- Serve warm with lemon slices and fresh ground black pepper.