Leeks were a highlight vegetable this week at the farm. Lots of my clients are unsure of how to cook with them, and I urge them that they are a great vegetable to add to soups. They enhance the flavorful onion flavor and nutritional benefits. My mom makes lentil soup every fall. This soup is hearty, delicious, and loaded with iron. In addition, the amount of protein found in lentils is up to 35%, which is comparable to red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. They are great for improved digestion, diabetes control, combatting cancer, weight-loss and great for pregnant women as a steady energy source.
The possibilities are endless with this recipe. You can also add dollop of crème fraiche in addition to the olive oil for a creamy finish.My mom also likes to add in grilled Italian chicken sausage, or pre-cooked kale/spinach swirled in for added nutritional value. I love making a big batch of this soup on a Sunday afternoon, and have a healthy dinner ready to heat up all week long.
· 2 yellow onions diced
· ½ bunch of celery diced
· 10 diced carrots
· 3 leek stalks diced
· 1 lb of French lentils
· 4 cups of chicken broth
· 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes Fire Roasted)
· ½ cup tomato paste
· 2 bay leaves
· 1 tsp Thyme
· ½ cup of good Italian olive oil
1. Saute onions, celery, carrots and leeks in large sauce pot with olive oil. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 15 minutes
2. Add lentils, chicken broth, can of fire roasted tomatoes, bay leaves and thyme to pot.
3. Simmer for 1 ½ hours. After, take off heat and serve in bowls with drizzle of olive oil.