As the days get shorter and the temperature gets colder, this lentil soup is the perfect antidote to warm your soul. Lentils are a super food — this perfect lean grain is a great source of protein and fiber that’s wonderful for weight loss. Lentils, being legumes, have also been shown to reduce the risk the breast cancer. In this recipe, portabella mushrooms and spinach round out the soup to make it chock full of vegetables and satisfying. Red wine vinegar is added at the end to cut a bit of the starchiness of the lentils. The spinach is added to the soup in individual bowls and steamed by the heat of the soup when mixed in. This keeps the bright green color of the spinach and it keeps some of its form and more of its flavor. Toasted pumpkin seeds are added last to the individual soup bowls for the perfect amount of crunch and flavor.
When making this soup, I use store-bought low-sodium chicken stock. I usually buy organic, free-range chicken stock. You can substitute beef stock or vegetable stock or make your own. I like a chunky soup so I use 8 cups of liquid; but feel free to add a couple more cups of stock if you prefer a thinner soup. If you are using low-sodium stock and prefer to add more, you may need to add more salt. This soup freezes very well, and if you prefer, you can add the spinach to the pot and then freeze the soup with the spinach. Pumpkin seeds are added upon serving.
Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
2 cups green lentils
2 large portabella mushroom caps
4 carrots diced
4 stalk of celery diced
1 large onion (or 2 small) diced
2 large garlic cloves or 4 small ones, peeled and minced
2 Roma tomatoes diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup red wine
6 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground back pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
11/2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds per serving
Add carrots, celery onion tomatoes garlic olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt to Dutch oven over medium heat – sauté 5 minutes until soft, add portabella mushrooms sauté 2 minutes, add lentils and red wine mix through to coat mushrooms, lentils and rest of vegetables. Add stock and water, bay leaf, Herbs de Provence, black pepper, cayenne, pepper, remaining salt and rosemary. Cover and simmer until lentils are soft and coked through about 45 minutes. Turn of flame and add red wine vinegar and mix through. In a separate pan, toast pumpkin seeds. Ladle soup into bowls, top with 1 oz of spinach, mix through to cook spinach. Add pumpkin seeds to top and mix through.