Monday, February 23, 2015

Easy Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe- (Crock Pot Optional)

 

Vegetarian lentil soup is one of those recipes that should be in every cook's list. Lentils are available in most grocery stores and are high in protein, healthy and very cheap. This vegetarian lentil soup recipe uses optimum amount of spices to perk up the soup. It is low-calorie and low in fat. If you use a fresh homemade vegetable broth, this recipe is also gluten-free. Enjoy this traditional and warming dish!


easy-vegetarian-lentil-soup-recipe-crock-pot

It is one of those go-to soups that is comforting and delicious with plenty of flavor. It's satisfying nature is mainly because of the high fiber content in lentils. Fiber contains no calories because your body can't break it down, yet it slows digestion to help your stomach stay full long after you've put down your spoon.

Other Variations of the Soup

Lentil soup may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, tomato, and onion. Common flavorings are garlic, bay leaf, cumin, olive oil, and vinegar. It is sometimes garnished with croutons or chopped herbs or butter, olive oil, cream or yogurt. Indian lentil soup contains a variety of aromatic spices. In the Middle East countries, the addition of lemon juice gives a pungent tang and cuts the heaviness of the dish. In Egypt, the soup is commonly puréed before serving, and is traditionally consumed in the winter and spring.

Why Lentil Soup is Good for You?

Lentils have been part of the human diet since aceramic (before the invention of pottery) Neolithic times, being one of the first crops domesticated in the Near East. Archeological evidence shows they were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago. In Shia narrations, lentils are said to be blessed by seventy Prophets, including Jesus and Mohammed.

Lentil soup is hearty and filling, but it won't break the calorie bank if you stick to the suggested serving size.

Lentils are grouped with beans and peas as part of the legume family because, like all legumes, they grow in pods. Lentils are high in protein and low in fat, which makes them a healthy substitute for meat.

Lentils are a good source of iron, having over half of a person's daily iron allowance in a one cup serving. With about 30% of their calories from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp. Proteins include the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and lentils are an inexpensive source of essential protein in many parts of the world, especially in West Asia and the Indian subcontinent, which have large vegetarian populations. Lentils are deficient in two essential amino acids, methionine and cysteine.

Lentils also contain high dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%). Several health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods.

The low levels of Readily Digestible Starch (RDS) 5%, and high levels of Slowly Digested Starch (SDS) 30%, make lentils of great interest to people with diabetes. The remaining 65% of the starch is a resistant starch that is classified RS1, being a high quality resistant starch, which is 32% amylose.

Lentils also have some anti-nutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitors and relatively high phytate content. Trypsin is an enzyme involved in digestion, and phytates reduce the bio-availability of dietary minerals. The phytates can be reduced by soaking the lentils in warm water overnight.



EASY VEGETARIAN LENTIL SOUP RECIPE

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Makes 4- 6 Servings


INGREDIENTS:

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
4- ½ cups vegetable broth, divided
1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
1 cup scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Sea salt to taste


COOKING PROCEDURE:

1) In a large soup pot, sauté onion, garlic, carrots, and celery in ½ cup vegetable broth over medium-high heat, until vegetables are soft.

2) Add curry powder and cook for 1 minute.

3) Add remaining vegetable broth, lentils, scallions, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

4) Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat low to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.

5) Add salt to taste.



Related Post: Do you like vegetarian recipes? Get these recipes...

1) Broccoli Frittata Recipe- Healthy Recipes

2) Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff- Healthy Recipe


TIPS  for Cooking "Easy Vegetarian Lentil Soup"

Adding salt at the end of a recipe allows you to use just the right amount.
This soup can also be prepared in a Crock-Pot. If you start with boiling water, it will cook in 1–2 hours; with cold water, 5–6 hours.

You can prepare a pot of this yummy soup and keep it on hand for quick meals. Reheat individual portions in the microwave and serve it with a salad of mixed greens and a slice of whole grain bread for a thoroughly nutritious and satisfying meal.

What You Need to Know When Buying Lentils?

Lentils come in three main varieties: brown, green and red. Most grocery stores carry brown lentils, usually dried. Green and red lentils may be found at specialty food markets. Here are some tips for choosing your color:

1) Green lentils. Also called French lentils, these have a nuttier flavor and stay firm when cooked. Green lentils are the best choice for salads.

2) Red lentils. The fastest cooking, these lose their shape and turn golden when cooked. They taste milder and sweeter than green lentils. Use them for purees and Indian dals.


3) Brown lentils. The least expensive, they soften when cooked and can become mushy. Use for soups.


lentils-3-main-varieties

Unlike other legumes, lentils cook quickly without pre-soaking. Just make sure to rinse away any dirt, dust or debris before adding them to recipes. Lentils work well in soups, stews and salads. They also work well as a main or side dish — boil them for 15 to 30 minutes, add turmeric, ginger or other seasonings, and serve over rice or mix with other vegetables and enjoy.


Maybe you're one of the cool people who likes to watch videos online, try this 9-minute cooking video if you have time to spare--- Plant Focused Nutrition: Easy Lentil Soup



Calorie Counter: "Easy Vegetarian Lentil Soup"

Like other broth-based soups, the high-water content in lentil soup makes it fairly low in calories. The exact calorie content varies, however, according to the recipe. Typically, canned condensed lentil soup contains about 140 calories per serving, which equates to 1 cup of prepared soup. Other lentil soups may contain between 130 and 150 calories per cup -- or more, if you add ingredients like potatoes.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup
9% Calorie Recommended Daily Allowance
Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 41

Calories 186


% Daily Values*
Total Fat 4.59g
7%
Saturated Fat 0.593g
3%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.257g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.473g

Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 625mg
26%
Potassium 357mg

Total Carbohydrate 26.61g
9%
Dietary Fiber 12.4g
50%
Sugars 2.38g

Protein 10.42g

Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
7%
Calcium
4%
Iron
15%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18



References:


Davidson, Alan. 2014. The Oxford Companion to Food, 3 edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211579-0.

Larousse, Librairie. 2009. Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia. New York, N.Y.: Clarkson Potter. ISBN-10: 0307464911

Raymond, Joan. 2006. World's Healthiest Foods: Lentils (India). Health Magazine.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov

Yadav, Shyam S et al (Editors). 2007. Lentil: An Ancient Crop for Modern Times. Springer Verlag. ISBN-10: 9048176050.


Do you know?... What is the Ideal Human Diet According to the Latest Scientific Findings- 2015?

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