Monday, December 23, 2013

Lentil & Kale Soup

Last week, I was trying to finish the things in my refrigerator in preparation for my holiday travels. I was doing really well with this until... I ran out of fresh and frozen greens. No way was I going to go a whole day and a half without a salad! So I ran down the street to Trader Joe's to grab a bag of kale. I figured we could get through one bag if we really committed to it and if not, hey! There's always kale chips, which we can take on the road. Then I remembered that I've been craving lentil soup for at least a month now. A warm, brothy lentil soup with kale, tomatoes, and scallions. But no! I only had a few scraps of scallions left, so I couldn't possibly pull that off! Well... I caved and bought the scallions in addition to the kale. They were only $1.29 and usually they'll keep for at least 2 weeks in the fridge. I had some basil I needed to use up anyways. I cooked the lentils in a vegemite broth (still convinced that vegemite will make you faster) and the result was this really filling, savory soup. It was so good that I made it again for my non-vegetarian family when I got home! Lentil soup with homemade bread from the local farmer's market is on the menu for this evening.

On top of the taste, I was really pleased with this recipe nutritionally! In a 1.5c (135 calorie) bowl of soup, you get less than a gram of fat, 8g of complete protein, and 9g fiber. Towards your daily value of micronutrients, you get 100% vitamin A, 60% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 20% iron, more than 10% of several B vitamins, as well as potassium and a plethora of others.

Lentil & Kale Soup

1/2c dry green lentils ($0.25)
1/3 bag kale ($0.66)
8 scallions, sliced ($0.30)
4 celery stalks, sliced ($0.20)
3 carrots, peeled and sliced  ($0.20)
garlic & black pepper to taste ($0.10)
2 sprigs fresh basil ($0.50, can use dried to bring the price down)
1 can diced tomatoes ($0.50)
3T vegemite ($0.30) Or 3 cubes vegetable bouillon!
6c water
Total cost: $3.01, or $0.75 per bowl

Cook lentils in plenty of water, seasoned with 1T vegemite. Meanwhile, chop scallions, celery, carrots, and basil. Add vegetables to your large soup pot with ~1/2c water. Sautee and add spices. Once the lentils are almost soft enough to eat, drain and rinse thoroughly. (The rinsing will get rid of the stuff that causes gas.) Add additional 5.5c water, 2T vegemite, and lentils to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and add additional spices to taste. Serve warm with a salad and bread. Enjoy!

Lentils... The vegetarian white meat.

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