I love sales, and sales at the grocery store on things like beans and lentils. But occasionally, the pantry builds up and it’s time to look around and see what you can make. So tonight I decided to do something with my large stash of lentils. Plus, it’s cold and wet, we had an ice storm today. Sounds like the perfect time for a warm lentil soup. Lentils are definitely a power food, they have so many benefits.
- High in Fiber-reduces your risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol, keeps you feeling full, stabilizes your blood sugar and helps your digestive system to keep you regular-very important for athletes
- Good Protein-legumes contain a high percentage of protein. 26% of lentil’s calories are from protein, perfect for vegetarians or athletes looking to fuel up
- High in Iron-very important for athletes, particularly women. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body
- Weight Loss benefits– because of the high fiber, they will keep you feeling full reducing your appetite, without a high number of calories
- They’re cheap-no explanation needed
I am not a vegetarian, but I do tend to eat that way. My husband is also not a vegetarian and will occasionally revolt if we haven’t had meat in a little while. So tonight, instead of just making just lentil soup, I added some low fat/no hormone added chicken sausage as well. You can make this soup completely vegetarian by just leaving out the sausage and using vegetable broth. It’s just as good. The sausage adds a bit more spice, so if you leave it out, you might need to up your spices amount.
Italian Sausage Lentil Soup (6 servings)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, or one swirl around the pan
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups of chopped carrots
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large potatoes, chopped
- 1 package of low fat/natural italian turkey or chicken sausage
- 1x 14oz can diced italian tomatoes, drained
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
- 1 pound of lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 4 cups of low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 4 cups of water
- 1/2 9oz package of fresh spinach
- ground pepper, additional seasonings as desired
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add one swirl of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes
- Add carrots, celery and potatoes to the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add chopped sausage if using.
- Add lentils, stir to coat.
- Add diced tomatoes and seasoning to the pot and stir.
- Add 8 cups of liquid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally about 25min. You can add more broth if the soup is getting to thick.
- Stir in spinach and cook an additional 5 min. Add any additional spices and check to make sure the lentils and vegetables are tender. Cook for additional time if they aren’t.
- 77g carbohydrate
- 10g fat
- 33g protein
- 25g fiber