This is my January theme. I want to stuff myself full of vegetables and be healthy. I want to be able to visualize the nutrients flowing through me, making my body run better, like a car after a tune-up (see also Jamba Juice when you’re hungover). Buuuuut… I don’t really want to eat salad. Not right now. Not as a main course, anyway. I’m already freezing cold, and now I’m supposed to eat something cold? Are you kidding?
So, soup it is. Easy, healthy, full of vegetables. I can whip one together in half an hour or less on a weeknight and take the leftovers for lunch. I’m 30 going on 80, I know, but trust me- soup is where it’s at, guys!
I did add feta cheese to this soup because, even though I’m all about vegetables right now, I still appreciate hunk of cheese at the end of a long day. The crumbles of feta hold their shape when stirred into the hot soup, filling each spoonful with little bursts of creamy, salty cheesiness on the tongue. Of course, if you’re vegan or staying away from dairy, this soup is just as good without (well… almost as good. 99% as good. I do love cheese.)
Finally, lemon at the end. Always add lemon or lime at the very end of cooking something like this (see also Lemony Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard, African Yam & Peanut Soup, Spicy Sriracha Soup Noodles with Crispy Ground Beef, Mexican Garlic Soup with Oregano & Fresh Lime… I’m a big fan of adding a hit of citrus to brighten up soups). Adding a touch of citrus right before serving brightens up just about any dish. If it is added earlier, you’ll find the acid loses its potency. The soup is still good, very good in fact, but squeezing a slice of citrus into it really sets it above and beyond.
That’s it for today! Short and sweet. Healthy, flavourful, easy and cheap- just what you need in these dark days of January when your liver, waistline and wallet might be hurting a little from the holidays.
|Greek Lentil Soup with Roasted Red Peppers, Lemon & Feta|| |
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, diced
- 5 roasted red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (omit for vegan or dairy-free)
- ½ lemon, juice and zest
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Add tomatoes, roasted peppers and lentils, stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender and just starting to break apart. Either leave the soup chunky at this point or blend it together using a blender or immersion blender.
- Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and zest and feta cheese.