Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tomato Lentil Soup

Last night, my husband says "Soup is the perfect food." I'm pretty sure he was trying to be funny, but, I agreed. Especially during winter time.

Soup has been one of my greatest weight-loss secrets. I've found these Progresso soups that only have like 120 calories in the whole can. Loaded with veggies and warm brothy goodness. What's that commercial? - Dieting lady: "It's the Manhattan Clam Chowder diet!" Supportive friend: "It's workin for ya!"

I've been cooking a lot of soup this winter, too. Now that my big girls can sufficiently work the spoon to their mouth with only minor spillage, I'm breaking out some old (and new) recipes.

Here's a new one I tried last night. It has lentils in it. This was my first experience working with lentils. So, if you're nervous, I'll just tell you, they look and taste like little round, flat beans. They're chock full of fiber, too. Not much taste, but they definitely hearty-up this brothy soup.

The best news is that this recipe makes 6 servings (probably about 1 cup size) at only 150 calories! I ate a half of a grilled cheese sandwich and a big bowl of this for dinner last night and I was completely satisfied!

Tomato Lentil Soup
1 Tbs olive or veg oil
1 large onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
1 med stalk celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
4 tsp chicken or veg bouillon granules
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1 dried bay leaf
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, celery and garlic in oil about 4 min, stirring occasionally, until softened.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except tomatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 to 20 min.

Stir in tomatoes; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 15 min or until heated through. Remove bay leaf.

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