Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthy, Delicious, Lentil Soup

I LOVE the cold(er) weather months.  I'm fully aware it doesn't *actually* get cold here in AZ, but I'll take what I can get.  It's an excuse to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, maybe even a jacket or sweater.  At night we can cozy up under a blanket, maybe even around a fire pit if we're lucky.  And it's a great excuse to make some soup!
Soups are the EASIEST, and CHEAPEST way to feed your family IMHO.  AND they are healthy, assuming you don't pick the soups with loads of cream or cheese and no actual veggies.  This post is about a pretty healthy soup I love to eat and make, and it's so very easy to do. You can make it vegetarian by withholding the pork products I mention, it will still be tasty, but the pork does make it extra delicious. I make mine veggie heavy, and hearty because Mr. G thang enjoys the veggies straight from the soup and he's not quite ready to feed himself with a spoon :).  So, take inspiration from this recipe and tweak as necessary for your own needs.
chopped up carrots
- 8 large carrots chopped approx. 1/4 inch thick pieces
- 1 stalk of celery chopped, approx 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 full bulb of garlic minced (it's a lot of soup and I like to taste the garlic, if you don't, then use less or none, it's up to you!)
- 1 medium/large onion chopped
- 1 bag of lentils
- 1 bag of prewashed spinach leaves
- optional, either ~6 slices of bacon, chopped or 1 ham bone you smartly threw in the freezer after Christmas dinner :)
- olive oil, salt, pepper

Get out your large stock pot, if you're like me, you don't know how to make a little bit of soup.  Add some olive oil* to the bottom and saute up your garlic and onion until the onion is translucent.  
sauteing the garlic and onions
Add your celery and carrots.  Saute all that for about 5 minutes.  Add your ham bone and lentils, salt and pepper as you see fit.  Add water to coat the lentils.  
the beginnings of a great soup
Bring to a boil and let that pot of yum simmer all afternoon, checking on it 
frequently, adding more water if necessary, stopping when the lentils and carrots are tender.  Throw in the spinach leaves at the very end and take out the ham bone.  
the finished product!
Scarf it down with some crusty bread and save the leftovers in the freezer for that day when you need an edible hug.

*If you go the bacon route, then cook up the bacon on your stock pot, remove the bacon, leave the delicious grease.  Use the grease to saute your garlic and onion, put the bacon back in when you get to the part where you add the lentils

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