Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kale and Lentil Soup

I made a big pot of this soup on Sunday and ate it for lunch the entire week. It is a very healthy and satisfying lunch. This soup is also very comforting and flavorful and does not taste like "health" food at all.

 Lentils are high in soluble fiber. One cup cooked provides 16 grams. They are also a great source of protein, 18 grams per cup, cooked.

A recent study found that women who ate lentils or beans at least twice a week had a 25 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who ate them less than once a month. Lentils are also rich in folacin, a B vitamin proven to lower blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked with increased risk of heart disease and dementia. The fiber in lentils also helps keep you regular.  (Souce: Readers Digest: Magic Foods)

Kale and Lentil Soup
Makes 6 servings

Olive oil
1 carrots-diced
1 celery stalk-diced
1 onion-diced
1/4 fennel bulb-diced
8 oz lentils
6-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (you can use 4 cups brother and 2-4 cups water)
1 bunch kale-stems removed and leaves chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to garnish

1. In a large stock pot add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and bring to medium heat. Add in onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Cook until soft; 8-10 minutes. Season vegetables with salt and pepper.

2. Add in lentils and cook additional 1 minute. Add in 6 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered; 25-30 minutes. Add in more water if the soup get to thick.

3. Add in kale; cover and cook until wilted about 5-8 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Serve with a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.

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