My new years resolution for 2014 is for my body to GET ITS ACT TOGETHER. I'm serous. It's been a rough six months. I got metal shards in my eye, then I got five teeth pulled where my husband video taped me waking up from anesthesia crying and being obscenely rude to a nurse, then I got the flu, a cold, and then another flu, and then I got pneumonia which absolutely laid me out for 6 weeks and then I went to Mexico and I'm not even going to tell you what happened to me there. One thing that I learned in 2013, is to take better care of myself - including nourishing my body with delicious and healthy foods that will keep me going when the going gets tough.
There is something about lentil soup that just breathes warmth into my chilly, wintery Chicago soul. Chicago has a bunch of "fast casual" restaurants, like Chipotle, Protein Bar, and my recent fav, Naf Naf Grill. Naf Naf Grill is a delicious Mediterranean restaurant that serves this lentil soup that could make a grown woman cry. It's SO GOOD, yet very different from other lentil soups I've had.
It has a ton of brothy goodness and is BURSTING with savory flavors. I decided to try to make it at home and guess what? It came out identical. I'm so impressed with myself. HOLLA. Oh and it has 200 calories for a generous 1.5 cup serving. SCORE.
Easy Healthy Lentil Soup
1 Tsp of Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, Finely Diced
4 Cloves of Garlic, Finely Minced
1 Lb of Split Red Lentils
2 Large Fresh Bay Leaves (or 3 dry)
1/2 Tsp of Kosher Salt
1 Tbs of Yellow Curry Powder
1/2 Tsp of Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp of Cumin Powder
18 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock (swap for veggie stock for vegetarian soup)
Warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and a couple tablespoons of stock. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, cumin, and cayenne and a little more stock until onions become become soft and translucent and very fragrant. NOTE: Be careful not to brown the onions or garlic...if they start to stick, just add a couple more tablespoons of stock. Add lentils, salt, and bay leaves and stir. Turn heat up to high and add 12 cups of chicken stock. Once soup comes to a boil, reduce to medium heat, stirring every 5-10 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes or so. Soup will reduce and thicken. You can leave it like this, or add another 6 cups of stock. I like a lot of broth so I get more for my calorie buck, but some people prefer it thicker.