Monday, May 24, 2010

Italian Lentil Soup

Enjoy it with your best friend!

I planned to keep a narrow focus on this blog, but there's also the thing that I also like to cook. So I'm posting this recipe. It's actually for my sister-in-law Mary Pat. I made it for her and her family when they came to visit over Easter. It's easy and inexpensive to make for a group. Credit for the recipe goes to Taste  of Home and Healthy Cooking Magazine.

Italian Lentil Soup

1 Medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-1/4 cups water
1 can (14-1/2 oz) vegetable broth
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 med. carrot, shredded
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups cooked brown rice (optional)

1. In a Dutch oven, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the water, broth, lentils, carrot, green pepper, oregano, basil and pepper flakes if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are almost tender.

2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until lentils are tender. Serve with rice if desired.

Nutrition facts: 1-1/3 cups with 1/3 c rice equals 269 calories, 3 g fat (trace sat. fat), 0 cholesterol, 383 mg sodium, 48 g carbohydrate, 14 g. fiber, 13 g protein

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