Fall is the season for soup. Don’t you all agree? The kids go outside to play in the piles of leaves you spent an hour raking, or go around stomping on all the newly sprung up mushrooms, flattening them to mush, all over your lawn, and after tiring themselves out of this play, which by the way, you condone because kids need nature, they come in complaining about wet feet and cold noses. So you all sit down with a bowl of steaming soup and all is right with the world again.
I find soups are also a great way to get my kids to eat more beans, legumes and veggies. There’s something about all those healthy hearty foods floating around a tasty broth that makes them much easier to swallow, I think. Anyway, I love soups and this one is one of my very favorites. Because it takes no time to make and is very, very versatile.
I often double batch this and freeze the extras. I just made this yesterday and have frozen a couple jars for a friend who is due to have a baby any day now. I’ve given this as a new baby gift in the past (new moms like food gifts!) and have been told husbands who didn’t like lentils loved this soup. It’s such a healthy, warming quick food for a new mom to feed herself and/or her family in those early days, not to mention lentils are packed with iron (1 cup provides 35% of the recommended daily value), important for replenishing the iron stores moms lose in birth and post-partum. To read more about the health benefits of lentils go here.
Hearty Tomato Lentil Veggie Soup
About 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (I use the leaves too)
1 head broccoli, chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, including juice
2 cups cooked lentils (red or brown, I like brown the best)
pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in oil on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent. Add the stock (I use 1 1/2 Harvest Sun Vegetable Bouillion Cubes to 6 cups water. Less salty but still very tasty), tomatoes, lentils, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Makes 4-6 servings.