While working on a piece for Parenting Magazine on mood boosting foods for mama’s, I was able to speak with some amazing women including: Peggy Kotsopoulos, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist; Latham Thomas, founder of Mama Glow, Holistic Health Counselor and alumna of Integrative Nutrition; Mareya Ibrahim, founder and CEO of Eat Cleaner. Each of these phenomenally educated women agreed that lentils were great for mood, fatigue and giving a boost of energy. This inspired me to give lentil soup a try (this was my first time and I was super nervous).
It may be March but the chills of winter are still lurking. Moods are fluctuating as the temperatures do and feeling exhausted seems like the norm. Look no more, I have the cure for the winter blues, moody moments and unexplained exhaustion. Not only are lentils the perfect mood boosting food (because they balance the blood sugar, they stimulate your happy neurotransmitters and are full of iron), lentils are a great source of protein, full of fiber to combat hunger and lowers cholesterol. This recipe for lentil soup is an adapted version of Peggy K’s recipe. We all know I add my own spin to everything. This soup was a winner, even in my boyfriend’s eyes. My meat and potatoes man enjoyed this hearty, comforting soup, which I served with ciabatta herbed garlic bread (yum!).
What You Need:
1 bag dry lentils (12 oz)
1 or 2 leeks, sliced
2 ribs of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced (or shredded carrots, 1 cup)
6 gloves of garlic, smashed and minced
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped and crushed
2 small potatoes (red or yukon gold), cut into small cubes
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
1 tsp paprika (or a little more. I added almost 2 tsp)
1/2 tsp dry oregano
Sea salt, black pepper to taste
How You Make It:
1. Wash lentils thoroughly then cover with water (about 4-5 cups) in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once lentils are boiled, rinse once more and place in a larger (soup pot) pot filled with water (4-5 cups again).
2. In a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and saute leeks, garlic, celery and carrots and half the rosemary and thyme until translucent. Once fragrant and slightly translucent, toss into pot with lentils. Add paprika, oregano, tomatoes, potatoes, a little bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper/
3. Continue to boil until most of the liquid is absorbed and lentils become soft. This takes about 20 minutes.
4. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss in rest of the herbs and season with sea salt and black pepper as desired.
5. Serve with warm, fresh garlic bread or croutons for crunch (my pumpernickel croutons would be fab here.)
Enjoy this phenomenally comforting lentil soup the next time you need a boost. The best part, this lentil soup stores very well and tastes EVEN better the next day.
Peace, love and lentil soup (and of course, no beef),