Quick Recipes and Easy

Lentil Soups: Easy, Filling and Delicious

Have you made a pot of lentil soup lately? It’s healthful cooking at its best: simple, hearty, tasty and loved by young and ancient. Lentils come in one-pound bags in the dry beans section of your supermarket. Usually you will find two kinds: ordinary greenish-brown lentils, and orange lentils which are really just the ordinary lentils with their skins removed. You may also find tiny dark green lentils, called French lentils, but these are usually more expensive and may be in the gourmet or international section of the store. All cook quickly and make wonderful soups.

Here are three of Diana’s favorite recipes. They all use chicken or vegetable bouillon made from cubes or liquid concentrate as the soup base; you can pick your favorite brand or just use water if you prefer.

Golden Lentil Soup
1 cup orange lentils
6 cups bouillon

4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch cayenne, or to taste

Bring all of the ingredients to a boil in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Mash the lentils or puree them with a hand blender . The recipe works equally well with regular (brown) lentils or split peas.

4-6 servings

Italian Lentil Soup

1 cup lentils (any type)
6 cups bouillon
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch cayenne, or to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained, broken up
2 10-ounce bags baby spinach leaves (or use frozen spinach)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients but the spinach and black pepper in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook 30-40 minutes, or until the lentils and bulgur are tender. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the spinach leaves, cover and cook 2 minutes more. Serve with ground pepper to taste.

6-8 servings

Lemony Lentil-Spinach Soup
8 cups bouillon
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cups lentils (any type)
1 medium red potato, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch cayenne, to taste
1 10-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
Juice of one lemon
Freshly ground pepper

Place the bouillon, onion, garlic, celery, lentils, potatoes and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are both tender. Add the spinach and lemon juice and cook 5 minutes more. Serve with ground pepper to taste.

6-8 servings

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Dr. Gabe Mirkin has been a radio talk show host for 25 years and practicing physician for more than 40 years; he is board certified in four specialties, including sports medicine. Read or listen to hundreds of his fitness and health reports at drmirkin.com DrMirkin.com

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