Brrr! It’s been chilly up here in the Minnesota north land and a cup of hot soup can really warm you up in a hurry! Our windchill was a frigid 40 below zero recently and this soup not only tastes good but has nutritional benefits for the body as well. I will be sharing my recipe for lentil soup today. This soup has been a staple in our home for many years since it so convenient to make in a crock pot in the morning and you can come home from work (or play) and enjoy it.
Lentils are believed to have originated in Asia, having been consumed since historic times. Lentil seeds dating back thousands of years have been found in archaeological sites in the middle east. Lentils have been mentioned in the old testament of the Bible both as a food that Jacob traded to Esau for his birthright and were used as part of a bread that the Jewish people prepared during their Babylonian captivity.
Lentils are a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family. They are an excellent source of fiber, protein, folic acid, magnesium, iron, zinc, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Lentils are also very inexpensive since they cost under $2.00 per pound so they provide a budget friendly option for those with limited incomes. Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. There is no need to presoak them overnight so they can be placed in your crock pot with your other ingredients and you can turn on the crock pot and go about your business for the day. Before placing the lentils in your crockpot, place the beans in a strainer, sieve or colander and rinse with cold water since there may occasionally be small rocks or other particles that you want to remove before cooking them. I have also recently spiced up the soup a little more and began adding a small amount of ground turmeric since this spice has so many health benefits as well. The cumin also adds some extra zing! I rarely add salt when I am cooking so I like to add spices such as garlic powder and onion powder instead of garlic and onion salt to keep the sodium content of my recipes lower, yet add the extra flavor that we enjoy. The recipe calls for turkey breakfast sausage which is very lean but be aware that it is higher in sodium content. If you would rather not receive the extra sodium from the turkey sausage, you can easily swap this out of your recipe and add ground turkey instead of the sausage. We have also enjoyed the recipe without adding any meat so this would be great for vegetarian or vegan diets and those practicing meatless Mondays. Pair the lentil chowder with a green salad as well as fresh fruit sliced into your favorite flavor of Greek yogurt and you have a complete meal. Enjoy and stay warm!
- 2 cups of dry lentils (one pound bag)
- 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (you may substitute the low sodium version, if desired)
- 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, browned and drained (I use Jennie-O brand)
- 16 oz bag of frozen California brand or stir fry vegetables (or 4 cups fresh chopped vegetables)
- 28 oz water
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove of minced garlic or 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 TB Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- Add all of the ingredients to a large crock pot. Stir to combine.Cook on the high setting of your crock pot for 4-5 hours or until the lentils are tender to taste.
The information in this blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care provider for further recommdations for adjustment into your personal eating plan.