Feb 10, 2011

Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach

Lemony lentil soup with spinach!

Things have been very busy lately, as is evident in my lack of recipe sharing. School, work and trying to bring some balance to things have made it hard to keep the juggling act up but I always find myself in the kitchen throughout the week. It’s when things get this busy that a home cooked meal is even more important to me and that much more appreciated. There are some days when I’m spending 13 hours on campus and I can’t tell you how comforting it is to come home and sit down to our own food. It’s on these days and during these busy times that it is even more important that we really have fast meals to make. So, although I haven’t had as much time to sit down and share all these recipes with you, we’ve been cooking and baking away in the kitchen and I promise to share all these new recipes with you!

I know I’ve shared a lentil soup already but lentils are so versatile and this is a great variation on the dish. The green lentils in the soup seem to be more hardy than the pink/red lentils in the other soup I shared. And the addition of lemon really adds a twist and brightens up the soup! Full of flavor and really packed with nutrients between the lentils and the spinach! So easy to put together and definitely satisfying after a long day!

Here is everything you need:


(Adapted from Ellie Krieger. Serves 3 dinner portions.)

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

This is one of those one pot wonders that will make cooking and cleaning super easy. To start, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes, about 3 minutes, and then add the carrot, celery and garlic. Cook about five minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Pour in the 6 cups of chicken broth, lentils, basil, thyme and salt and bring everything to a boil. Right when things start to boil, reduce the heat to low and let things simmer until the lentils are tender. This could take about 30 to 35 minutes. With the lentils tender, you may find that you need to add a little more broth, and you can also add a little water if you ran out of broth. At this time, add the lemon juice and zest and stir everything in. Immediately after adding the lemon juice and zest the whole soup really becomes much more fragrant! I also hold off on the spinach until the end just so it doesn’t become too wilted.

Lemony lentil soup ready to eat!

That’s it! I told you it was fast and easy! I made this for dinner with some good bakery bread on the side, and although it may not seem to be enough for a meal it is definitely a satisfying dinner! The lentils may be small but they certainly pack a punch of nutrients and they are much hardier than they may appear. I have raved about the addition of lemon in the soup but the last thing I’ll add about it is that it really helps with adding flavor to the soup in a short period of time. For soups, you sometimes go with the idea that the longer the flavors can simmer together the more flavorful it will be. Despite this soup taking only 40 minutes, nothing is lacking and I think the lemon is to thank for some of that! Things can get ┬ábusy and the important things, such as a good home cooked meal get lost in the shuffle. But when you have meals like this, I hope to make it a little easier for you! For now, that’s lemony lentil soup with spinach…in the shell of a nut!

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