Monday, May 21, 2012

Lentil Soup with Chard and Cumin

Lentils make the wonderful soup and are quite possibly my favorite legume. Green lentils, beluga lentils, red lentils, you name it I love them all. Each pairing better with certain dishes and flavors. This spring soup uses French green lentils, soaked and sprouted if you can manage. Soaking and sprouting enhances nutrition and begins the breakdown of anti-nutrients like phytic acid so that our bodies can easily absorb the minerals. Be sure to add plenty of fresh cilantro and parsley at the end which will greatly enhance the flavor and preserve the nutrients since you are not cooking them a long while.

The Recipe
serves 6-8
1 C French green lentils
1 leek, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 large celery stalk, finely diced
1 bunch green chard, finely chopped
1C chopped cilantro
¼ C chopped parsley
1-2 quarts home-made bone broth
2 T cumin
1 bay leaf
Pinch of cayenne
1-2 T lemon juice
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

1.Soak the lentils overnight in a large bowl covered with filtered water. Drain and add to your crock pot.
2. Add leek, onion, garlic, sweet potato, carrot, celery, chard and 1 quart bone broth to the crock pot. Additional broth or water can be added as needed to cover all the vegetables.
3. Next add in the cumin, bay leaf, and pinch of cayenne. Stir well and cover. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
4. Before eating add the cilantro, parsley, and lemon juice. Stir in well and let sit for a few minutes to let the flavors mingle. 
5. Ladle the soup in bowls and serve with sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

Soup doesn't just have to be a cold nights dinner, try this light and spring flavored soup served with salad and a wedge of home-made bread for the perfect lunch!

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