VEGETABLE LENTIL SOUP. . . getting back in the groove
Posted Jan 05 2013 4:35pm
So, it'stime to check in on how the Simply Maintain= No Gain challenge for the Holidays. How did it go? Did it work for you? Actually, for about the first time in my memory I did not gain my normal 3 - 5 Holiday pounds. I'm not really sure why. I was a little more conscience of my meals and treats. I did not have the "I have to have this treat because it's going to go away forever" mentality. If I wanted it, I had it and forgot about it. I knew there would always be more available. That really helped do away with the sweet cravings that I normally have. I also stayed active during the entire time. My week off between Christmas and New Year's was full of fun, friends and food but also active. I think these all came together this year in a good way.
That being said, I still like to begin the new year in a healthy way and get back into a good routine. If you are feeling a little "full" or sluggish after so much heavy and decadent food, I have a perfect meal for you. (It's also rather chilly outside so that makes it even better!)
VEGETABLE LENTIL SOUP
2 cups brown lentils
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 oz. baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. dry sherry
2-oz. piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions: Pick over the lentils and discard any misshapen lentils and grit. Rinse well and drain. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in 6 cups water, the lentils, tomatoes, soup base seasoning, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, uncovered, until the spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sherry. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and use a vegetable peeler to garnish the soup with shavings of the cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6. **HINT If you have a Trader Joe's nearby they have wonderful prepared steamed Lentils in the produce section. Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.
HAPPY FRIDAY! What are you doing to move today? Have you packed all the decorations away? That's a good workout, too!