Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lentil Edamame Soup

After indulging in the holiday treats of sugar and butter topped with more sugar, I am ready to eat healthy. My taste buds feel worn out and my body is in need of serious nourishment. Since my January focus is health, I am excited to try out recipes that are chocked full of goodness. I'm looking to reduce the amount of meat we eat, increase the fruits and veggies and lay off the sodium. Even if I get only a couple healthy dinners in each week, I'm happy and feelin' good.

I was thumbing through an old issue of Cooking Light, looking for inspiration, and found a recipe for lentil soup. The picture made it look so yummy, I had to try it. I changed it a bit to fit our taste preferences and also to use what I had on hand. It was awesome and I had leftovers for lunch. Score.

This soup is so good AND versatile AND cheap! The edamame and lentils together make it so hearty that I'm not hungry an hour later. It packs a protein punch. Here's the surprising thing: my 17 month old devoured his bowl! I was not expecting that at all. (cut the edamame in half for the little kiddos)

I usually top everything with cheese. Ever since I was little, it's been a habit. I'm trying to stop that. So, I didn't put any cheese on this and instead, I focused on the different flavors and textures and guess what? I didn't even miss the cheese. Good riddance.

Like many soups, you can toss in, substitute or omit stuff to make it work for you. You could totally toss in any veggies you want and play with the seasonings to make it yours. Next time, I'm throwing in roasted butternut squash. I love flexibility.

This meal cost me around $5 and took 45 minutes to prepare BUT you could cut that down to 15 minutes with some night-before prep.

Lentil Edamame Soup

1 c of brown lentils
1 c frozen shelled edamame
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tbs parsley, chopped
1 tbs fresh mint, chopped
1 c water
1/2 tsp of salt
pepper to taste

Make it:

Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water about 2 inches above lentils. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes, drain. Place edamame in a saucepan of water and boil for 5 minutes, drain.

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat then add onions and sauté for 6 minutes or until slightly tender. Add garlic and cook for 3 more minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients along with the lentils and edamame. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes over low-medium heat.

Get it on the table faster with some night-before prep:

  1. Cook lentils and edamame.
  2. Chop onions and garlic.
These 2 steps can save you a boat load of time to get this hearty meal on the table quick!

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