Lentil Soup with (or without) Ham

lentil soup

I love making a big pot of soup at the beginning of the week and having it for dinner a few nights in a row.  This saves me the hassle of having to prepare myself dinner mid-week and deters me from eating pre-packaged or processed foods if I’m too tired to cook something from scratch when I get home from a long day.  Lentil soup is very nutritious and low in fat so it makes a great choice for weeknight meal.

Ingredients:

lentil soup ingredients

  • 16 oz package of lentils (your color of choice)
  • 8 oz package of cubed ham (optional)
  • 1 vegetable or chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 envelop of Sazon Goya seasoning (found in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store.  I use the version that has saffron for both coloring and flavor.)
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic (trust me, once it boils for a while, it mellows out and is not strong at all)
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 a large onion
  • 1 package of baby carrots diced or 2 large carrots
  • 2-3 stalks of celery
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 5 small sweet peppers or 1 regular sized sweet pepper (yellow, orange or red)

Directions:

  1. Rinse lentils and pick out any pebbles, etc.  Fill pot with water about 2 inches above lentils.
  2. add bouillon cube, seasoning packet, bay leaves and all diced vegetables
  3. Let come to rolling boil
  4. Add ham cubes if desired.
  5. lower to simmer and cover.  Boil for 40 minutes stirring frequently and adding water if it thickens more than you would like.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

For more info on the health benefits of lentils, check out these links!

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-lentils-4547.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=52

http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Oz-The-Best-Anti-Aging-Superfoods-Red-Lentils-Amaranth

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