Although many don’t love winter, I have to say I’m a fan because I get to make soup! Soups are really the ultimate meal prep food because you can pack all the nutrients you need into one pot. Making sure a soup is well balanced with enough protein, carbs, and healthy fats ensures a satisfying meal. I like to make a big batch and freeze half so I have a healthy meal ready to go whenever take out is the only option.
I based this recipe off of one I used to make from Ina Garten’s first cookbook. Made a few healthy additions to up the nutrients and toned down some of the spices she used. I hope you enjoy my version!
• 2 1/2 cups French green lentils
• 4 chopped yellow onions (I use organic onions- if not using organic, you might only need 3 because they are larger)
• 2 chopped leeks, white part only
• 3 cloves of minced garlic
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 tsp minced fresh or dried thyme
• 1/4 tsp ground cumin (can omit if you don’t like taste of cumin)
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 8 celery stalks, diced
• 6 carrots, diced
• 3 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
• 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, (can sub crushed tomatoes)
• 2 tablespoons red wine or red wine vinegar
• large handful of fresh spinach (optional)
1. In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
2. In a large stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions, leeks, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, and oregano for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and very tender.
3. Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil.
4.Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 25-45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Check the seasonings. Add the red wine and spinach. Mix until spinach has wilted and serve hot, drizzled with good quality olive oil.