Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's for dinner? Lentil Soup

Yeah, yeah, I know it's been A-G-E-S since I've posted something on our blog here. Let's just say it's been a bit busy yet boring around here. Other than the "fun" week we had, two weeks ago when all the kids got RSV and Brielle was hospitalized for it (by the way, they are all feeling MUCH better now, PRAISE GOD!, and back to their crazy selves ;) ), life is a bit, um, boring. Not much to write about. Even with that said, I will try to post some recipes on here I've been trying out in my kitchen and also post some recent (just taken today!) pictures of the kiddos. So...here's 1 post down ;)

Okay, before you turn up your nose at this and say "ewe! lentils? what were you thinking Maria?!?!?!" may I suggest you just give it a try. It's super easy and super cheap to make for dinner. Plus, lentils are good for you...when you consider the nutritional power of the lentil: high in fiber, low in fat, a good source of B vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium. They're easy to digest meaning that they don't produce as much gassy by-product as other legumes (e.g. peas and beans). And of course, there's the protein. Of all the edible plants, only soybeans contain more.

So I was curious about lentils and thought "hm...I've heard of them but never tried them. So let's give them a try!" That's what I did for dinner tonight. Lentil soup! I searched for a good, easy and highly-rated soup recipe and came across Giada De Laurentiis's recipe (from the Food Network). She also has another lentil soup recipe that calls for chunks of beef chuck roast (which sounds yummy to me too!) but I went with this recipe for a first try.

First, chop up some onion, carrots and celery
And some garlic - YUM!Saute' them in olive oil, salt and black pepper, until veggies are tenderLike this tender
Mix in a can of diced tomatoes. Simmer until some of the tomato juices evaporate out a bit and the tomatoes break down.Ah, the lentils! I rinsed and drained mine beforehandAdd the lentils to the pot and mix to coatThen add in the chicken brothOh, and add in the sprigs of fresh thyme too. She says 4 to 6 sprigs but I just threw in the entire 2/3oz container of thyme. It worked out well.Bring to a boil and then let it simmer, covered and on low, for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are barely tenderThen stir in the elbow pasta. Cook another ~8 minutes or until the pasta is tender but firmThen you're done! Ta da! Ladle it into the bowl, top with shredded parm cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.Now, one thing that she doesn't mention and did cross my mind was "okay, what do I do with the sprigs of thyme in the soup? pull them out? won't I lose that taste then?" But then I saw what happened to the thyme...Ah, the thyme just cooked and fell off into the soup. I, then, just had to pull out the leftover stems in the soup. Okay. I get it ;)

I will say that Paul, Jared and I enjoyed it! Yes, Jared (a kid!) ate his entire bowl of it! Woo hoo! ;) It does have an earthy taste to it but we liked it anyhow. It was yummy!

So, are you going to try lentils? Maybe?? Well then, Happy eating! :D
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