A HEARTY, HEALTHY BROCCOLI LENTIL SOUP FOR THOSE COLD SPRING DAYS
While summer may be just around the corner, we're still very much in the thick of soup season. Not that that's a bad thing - I love soups!
Growing up in Newfoundland, soups always meant a certain kind of soup. Start with salt beef, add lots of root vegetables, a protein, and some kind of grain (often barley or rice). This really narrowed my perception of soups. It wasn't until I moved to Saskatchewan that I started trying all sorts of new soups with different ingredients and different textures. Shout out to my friend Miranda for being a particularly savvy soup savant in grad school!
On a vegan diet, a common anxiety is where you'll get your protein. Fear not! Lentils to the rescue! These tiny pulse plants contain a whopping 18 grams of protein per cooked cup! Lentils are something you can add just about anywhere without noticing. In soups, in burritos, in rice, anywhere! They're very much the supporting character that saves the day; think Fezzik in the Princess Bride.
While lentils play the back-up, our veggies shine in this soup! I absolutely love broccoli in soups - I mean, it even looks healthy! While I love this combination of veggies, you can mix it up and use whatever you've got available. Squash, green beans, peas, potatoes, whatever - throw it in and try it out! Me, I like to keep it simple. I usually stick to a mirepoix with broccoli and corn. I also use frozen broccoli and corn (I'm not proud; it's cheaper), but you can definitely use fresh.
Here's whatcha need:
1 cup dry red lentils
about 6 cups of veggie broth
4 large carrots
1 large white onion
3 stalks of celery
2 cups of frozen broccoli
1 cup of frozen corn
1 small can of diced tomatoes or 1 cup
2 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Okay, secret time. Sometimes we crave a little sweet kick in our soups and we swap tomatoes for ketchup. I know, that sounds kind of gross, but it tastes really good! Anywho, it's up to you to pick your preference!
Here's how to make it:
Dice your mirepoix and start to sweat the vegetables in a large pot. At the same time begin boiling your lentils in 3 cups of broth until they are tender.
Once the vegetables have slightly softened and released that rice veggie smell, add your remaining broth and simmer until your vegetables are tender.
Once the veggies are tender add your corn and broccoli and mix in your lentils, seasonings, and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. At this point you might add some extra broth to ensure your vegetables are covered.
Adjust the seasonings for your taste.
This recipe makes 4 servings. Here's the approximate nutritional information per serving:
Calories: 415 Carbs: 70.5 Fat: 5 Protein: 20.5
There you have it - a hearty healthy lentil and broccoli soup! This recipe only takes about 30 minutes to prepare. Try it out if you're running late to a potluck and you want to impress your friends with your healthy plant-based soup skills. Or enjoy at home with some toast the way we do!
Eat well. Live well.