As the weather starts to lighten up, so has our food preferences. Salads actually sound appealing and I am not a big salad fan. In order to get my soup fix for the week, I went with this lentil soup recipe. It sounded tasty and not bulky. The recipe calls for different lentils, I had orange lentils and went with that. The recipe also says to puree half the lentil mix, however mine orange guys had broken down so much, I left them alone. The blending may be better for a smooth texture. Good flavor and not a thick as I imagined. Make sure to add the Parmesan at the end, it really adds a kick. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4-6 bacon slices chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dried lentils (I used orange lentils)
3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach (I used kale)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add bacon; cook 1 minute or until bacon begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add onion and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add lentils, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf.
2. Place 2 cups lentil mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and blend until smooth. Return pureed lentil mixture to pan. Add baby spinach or kale, chopped basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and black pepper; stir until spinach wilts. Serve immediately.
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light