Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still Struggling to Trust the Carbs? Step out with this lentil soup!

Another soup recipe?!

Struggling to step out of your comfort zone and try new foods? Carbs still not safe? Selecting foods you can justify by their nutritional value can be quite helpful to get you started. Take lentil soup, for instance. Knowing that lentils are good for you—a great source of protein, oh-so-satisfying fiber, as well as carbohydrate—may get you through. And remembering that carbohydrate is a necessary nutrient, which fuels our active (and sedentary) bodies.

Lentils are also a valuable  source of iron, thiamin, and folate. Being inexpensive, easy to prepare, tasty and versatile places them high on my list of ingredients to keep on hand.

And once you try this soup, I’m sure you’ll be hooked, even if you’ve never liked lentils before. Lentils come in all colors and sizes, (the so-called red ones which really look orange are a lot lower in fiber) and are interchangeable in lentil recipes. By the way, this soup, by itself, is not an adequate meal. But serve with a salad (with nuts and dried fruit, perhaps) and some bread for a healthy, balanced, and delicious dinner! This one is sure to please.

Grilling just isn't an option these days!

Lentil Soup (adapted from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book)
Serves 8

2 Tbsps. olive or vegetable oil
2 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
¾ tsp. oregano
¾ tsp. thyme leaves
1 28 oz. can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
7 cups broth/stock (chicken, beef or vegetable, regular or reduced sodium)
1 ½ (or 2*) cups dried lentils ( brown or yellow)
½ tsp. salt (omit if using prepared commercial broth/stock)
6 oz. dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

• In a large stockpot heat oil and sauté the onions, carrots, oregano and thyme, stirring, for about 5 mins.
• Add tomatoes, broth and lentils and bring to a boil.
• Reduce heat and cover, simmering for an hour. Lentils should be tender.
• Add the salt (optional), wine, and parsley, and simmer the soup for a few more minutes.
• Serve and enjoy!

PS: Looking for another chance to try out lentils? Visit my old post for a delectable lemony lentil stew.

 *(use 2 cups to count as a protein, if following an exchange plan.)


  1. Perfect - I love lentils. Can't wait to try it. I'm not a big meat eater, but I do love pulses :-) I have this well-thumbed cook book called 'great vegetarian dishes' by kurma dasa...brilliant resource for vegetarian cooking.

  2. This is totally off topic, but I didn't know where else to post/ask...I'm a third year nursing student who has been assigned the task of teaching a nutrition topic to a group of four year olds (10-15 kids). I wanted to introduce food groups or the food pyramid in a fun way, any ideas? Could you maybe point me in the right direction to an online resource. Thanks! :)

  3. Check out and also the National Dairy Council. They've always had good pedi resources. good luck.