I’m a big fan of stockpiling — food, specifically. I have a pantry in my basement where I stock all sorts of foods — canned tomatoes, olive oil, beans, pasta, nuts, etc. I feel very stressed when my supply is depleted, so I keep a mindful eye on my pantry to make sure it’s always well stocked.
If you are like me, you may feel similarly. There’s a sense of comfort in knowing that you have a lot of healthy food staples in your house. And, there’s an even greater sense of comfort knowing that you have a stock pile of healthy meals at your finger tips — or at least in your freezer!
Today we offer you the first recipe in a series we are calling STOCKED. This recipe is for a delicious, healthy and hearty lentil soup. It yields a huge batch that you can divide into containers and freeze for another day. It’s a simple recipe, and I bet you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry right now. (However, if you need help creating a well-stocked, healthy pantry, check out this article).
Here’s what you need: onions, carrots, celery, garlic, lentils, fresh baby spinach (or another green of your choice), canned tomatoes, olive oil, chicken or vegetable broth, water, bay leaf, salt, pepper.
It’s a very basic and heart warming soup. The greens, in this case spinach, add a nice touch (courtesy of my friend Michele who inspired this recipe). It’s also an extremely economical meal. And, like I said, you will get a tremendous vat of soup out of this recipe. Enough to feed a small army. . . for days.
Hearty Lentil Soup
Yields a lot.
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes (chopped, crushed, pureed – whatever you have on hand)
16 ounces dried lentils (I used green lentils — don’t forget to rinse them!)
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups of water
1 large dried bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, warm the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils, can of tomatoes, chicken/vegetable stock, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat. Let the soup simmer for about 25 minutes — or until the lentils are soft. I just left my on the stove and let it simmer away.
Helpful hint: When re-heating the soup, you may need to add more stock/water. Don’t stress. The lentils absorb a lot of the liquid.