Lentils are a staple in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking and make a thick, rich and delicious soup. They're also a good source of fiber and magnesium and the quickest legume to cook. With bread and a salad, this soup makes a whole meal. On a cold night, a filling soup like this is perfect nourishment for warming body and soul.
Food as Medicine
Soluble fiber, found in such high quantities in lentils, forms a gel in the digestive tract that traps cholesterol-containing bile and escorts it out of the body; while insoluble fiber, also plentiful in lentils, provides stool bulk and helps prevent constipation. Just one cup of cooked lentils - less than the amount found in one serving of this soup - contains over 15 grams of dietary fiber, all for only 230 calories. Lentils are also an excellent source of molybdenum and folate. This soup is vegetable-dense, containing antioxidant- and fiber-rich carrots, celery, onions and tomatoes; various studies have shown that as consumption of fruits and vegetables increases, the risk of heart disease drops.
1 pound lentils
1 bay leaf
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Vinegar (red wine, cider or balsamic, optional)
1. Pick over lentils to remove any stones, dirt, or other foreign objects. Rinse them well in cold water and place in a large pot with enough cold water to cover lentils by 6 inches. Add the bay leaf.
2. Bring to a boil, skim off foam, lower heat, and boil gently, partially covered, until lentils are just tooth-tender, 20-30 minutes.
3. Add carrots, celery, cumin and onion to the lentils. Cook partially covered till carrots are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
4. Add crushed tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, partially covered, until lentils become very creamy and soft. Stir occasionally and add boiling water if necessary to prevent sticking.
5. Remove bay leaf before serving. If you like, stir in a little vinegar just before serving.
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Nutrients Per Serving
Protein: 8.1 grams
Fat: 5.8 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.8 grams
Monounsat Fat: 3.8 grams
Polyunsat Fat: 0.8 grams
Carbohydrate: 25.2 grams
Fiber: 8.7 grams
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Vitamin A: 8,600.9 IU
Vitamin E: 1.3 mg/IU
Vitamin C: 14.9 mg
Calcium: 61.9 mg
Magnesium: 44.2 mg
For your free personalized supplement recommendation, visit Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor.