Spinach and Lentil Soup with Cheese and Basil

I filled my refrigerator with fruits and vegetables yesterday and am trying, really trying, to eat better.  After all, summer will be here before I know it and I’m nowhere near ready for shorts and tank tops, let alone a swim suit.  Soups are such a great way to eat lots of vegetables, fill up without feeling deprived, and also easy to make so you can control the salt and calories.  Soups are also great to make over the weekend and reheat later.  Portion out servings ahead of time and you’ll have something quick to grab for lunch on your way to work.

This Spinach and Lentil Soup with Cheese and Basil is loaded with veggies like celery, carrot, onion, and spinach, layered with flavors such as thyme, bay, and basil, and satisfying due to the hearty lentils.  I don’t particularly like canned lentil soup but everytime I make my own soup with lentils, I’m completely happy.  The lentils here are earthy, rustic, warm and homey and they don’t leave me feeling unsatisfied.  This soup can also easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta and using vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.  I left out the pancetta but I’m sure leaving it in only adds another layer of flavor and depth to this soup so leave it in if you choose.

The ingredients:

Cook onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil with fresh thyme and a bay leaf for 8 minutes until tender.

Add in the lentils, broth, and water.

Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat, simmering for 40 minutes.

Remove from heat and discard bay leaf.  Scoop two cups of the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour pureed soup back into the pan and stir.

Add baby spinach, basil, cheese, and lemon juice.

Serve warm.

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Pancetta

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

 

 

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