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Outstanding Lentil Soup
Types of Lentils
When it comes to Lentil soup, an individual's creativity allows for use of any variation of Lentils. It is important to know that each type of Lentil has a unique flavor that creates a variance in results with the ingredients suggested in this recipe. Personally, each type is outstanding in flavor that will satisfy most any person, regardless of age.
Red, Brown, Black, Green, Crimson, Yellow, White (outer skin is removed)
Some of these Lentils come in different sizes, and density. Some Lentils come from France, and others from Mexico, however, the legumes can also be grown locally if someone has a green thumb. Regardless of what type Lentils are chosen, the taste will be incredible, enjoyable, and full bodied. These legumes are wholesome, healthy, and should be a regular part of an individuals diet.
Only good can come from eating Lentils, regardless of how they are prepared, or utilized in individual dishes. The facts speak for themselves, that Lentils are healthy, nutritious, and tasty to eat. So, what's holding you back? Try it...you might like it!
Why eat Lentils? Lentils are Legumes that contain essential nutrients for energy, and good health, which includes protein, fiber, folate, thiamin, phosphorus, and iron. Naturally high in fiber, this legume can help protect the digestive system. Lentils also help to stabilize blood sugars, and provides minerals and antioxidants for good heart health.
With something so nutritious, how can one decide not to eat Lentils in some capacity? There may be some individuals who may not like the flavor, but there are a lot of spices that can be added to suite the individual. My husband likes his a little spicy, so he adds Mediterranean spice, or pepper of various types, or lemon pepper to his individual serving. I like mine a little milder, so I add just a little more salt, and maybe Dill, and Tarragon with a teaspoon of butter.
Active or not, there are advantages to preparing Lentil Soup, such as less business in the kitchen, less entertainers running through the house.
According to Project Open Hand, there are 5 good reasons to eat Lentils. Information can be found at www.openhand.org/2012/04/24/5-reasons-why-you-should-eat-lentils/.
There are approximately 13 different types of Lentils ranging in variations of color and size.
More information is available on EAT THIS (2009), at www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/the-different-types-of-lentils.html
1 package of any type Lentils
1 package of pork Ramen Noodles (for the sauce packet) set aside noodles for other dishes.
1 small clove garlic-finely chopped
1/2 small onion-finely chopped
Smoked Ham-finely chopped (Add as much as you like, or just a little for flavor)
1 small carrot-finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 dash pepper
2 tablespoons chicken soup base (powdered)
1 slice red bell pepper-finely chopped
1 teaspoon butter
Rinse Lentils to get any foreign materials washed off, place in a 4 quart sauce pan. Fill with water until about 1/2 inch above Lentils, boil over medium heat. More water can be added as the Lentils cook if necessary.
In a fry pan, heat 1 teaspoon of butter and add finely chopped items, onion, garlic, ham, and carrot, stirring until browned.
Add fry pan ingredients to Lentils, then add the dry ingredients, holding back the pork packet from the Ramen Noodles. Stir until well mixed. When the mixture starts boiling, add 1/2 of the pork powder from the packet and store the rest for later, using smaller amounts results in less sodium content.
Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for approximately 1-1/2 hours. If you prefer whole Lentils, do not press down or mash them while stirring. My husband prefers his more creamy, so I use a wide ladle to mash the Lentils against the sides of the pan while stirring.
Allow to cool for about 15 minutes and the soup is ready! Each person can add extra salt according to individual taste, but I have found the soup to be salty enough.
Usually it is a good idea to use a deep cooking pot to make soup. Some of the liquid may boil out, so adding enough at the beginning of the process curbs the need to add more later. The ingredients concentrate as the liquid boils down, so simmering should be a very slow boil.
Using a good stockpot helps alleviate burning on the bottom, but continue to stir often to make sure. People have individual preferences for cooking utensils, such as a heavy large roasting pan, ceramic, stainless steel, or aluminum. It is up to each individual what type of pot to use for Lentil Soup. There are a variety of Nonstick Stockpots available to help ease clean-up.
When one feels less stress of after-clean-up, there is more effort put into the cooking process. I found that determining the process that requires less effort is best and makes the preparation, and cooking process easier, and more enjoyable. The outcome can be quite different if the cooking process is stress free.
Personally, I found that my cooking experience was quite enjoyable when the process was clear, efficient, and the clean up was easy, which includes washing items through out the process so one is not overwhelmed with an abundant amount of utensils or dishes to wash, and dry in the aftermath.
Ahhh, It's Soup!
Here are a few sides that go great with Lentil Soup.
* Celery Sticks
* Crispy Chicken
* Brown Rice
Celery sticks provide roughage, and extra taste, while enhancing the flavor of the Lentils. Brown rice is an added bonus because it is low in calories, also contains good nutrients, and provides digestive support, as well as combining in flavor with the Lentils. Dicing a fresh tomato over the top, and dusting with a light amount of shredded cheese can dress up the dish.
Lentil soup is a course base, a thicker than usual soup, so it goes well as a sauce, or additive for flavor in many dishes.
This is a food that has many experimental possibilities.
What is Your Favorite Type of Soup?
Home Made Lentil Soup Nutrition
|Serving size: 8 oz|
|Calories from Fat||18|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 2 g||3%|
|Saturated fat 1 g||5%|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 20 g||7%|
|Sugar 3 g|
|Fiber 8 g||32%|
|Protein 9 g||18%|
|Cholesterol 7 mg||2%|
|Sodium 350 mg||15%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Figuring nutritional values of foods prepared at home can be difficult. Thanks to the Internet, there are many options for help. Here are some informative websites that help determine nutrition in your favorite dishes. Monitor calories, fats, sugars and more, including ready made foods.
Calorie/Food Lists: www.calorieking.com/foods/
It's That Season!
As the weather gets cooler, now is the time to make more soups! As fall unfolds into winter, I will be adding other recipe's that I try using Lentils. I have read about some that are spicy, and some that have a variation of Lentils, and additives. As I try them, or if I develop a new one, they will be added.
Sum It Up!
Who would know there is so much health value in Lentils?
* Lentils are a great source of protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and provide health benefits to various organs and functions of the body. These legumes, once soften through the cooking process, can also be strained and used to enhance salads, rice dishes, or vegetables.
* Lentils come in various types, colors, and tastes so there are many dishes to choose from.
* Preparation and cooking take less than 2 hours, and the resulting taste is worth the time.
* Calories, fats, and other nutrients can be measured for home cooking, to better monitor good health in food consumption.