We recently took a trip back to New York to see our family. It seems that anything my mother cooks my son loves....even soup with broccoli. Well so this soup is my son's favorite. Now for the record, I've always cooked lentil soup but apparently not like Nonna!! My mom grew up in Italy, the land of the most delicious foods, and she was born with the gift of cooking amazingly. Growing up I would call my mom, the Tasmanian Devil in the kitchen. As all moms experience, kids open the fridge and say, "there is nothing to eat!" As we did. So there my mother would say, "you girls don't know what it means to have nothing to eat!" And then she would, at lightening speed, spin around in the kitchen and in 10 minutes there sat on the table the most delicious amazing meal to eat!!! When we returned to Colorado, excited at my son's broccoli eating skills, I announce that I am going to make LENTIL SOUP!!! Umm...can you make it like Nonna does...LOL!
Is Lentil Soup Healthy?
An Excellent Source of Iron
Having always been a little low on iron, Lentil Soup was my go to food and still is. Women require more iron than men - 18 mg versus 8 mg, respectively. According to my Nutrition Facts Label, 1/4 cup provides 19% of the 18 mg daily recommended value. One large bowl of lentil soup either meets or almost meets your entire daily need for iron. Iron, promotes red blood cell production and helps to keep anemia at bay. This soup also provides many other vitamins and minerals.
An Excellent Source of Fiber
Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are found in high quantities in lentils. In 1/4 cup there is 14.5 g of fiber per my Nutrition Facts Label. "Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile (which contains cholesterol)and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis." whfoods.com
High in Protein
12g per 1/4 cup...WOW
Good Energy Source
Lentils are a healthy source of carbohydrates, which together with the fiber content provide a steady flow of energy. Lentils are also rich in iron; iron is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood which is key to energy production.
Nonna's Lentil Soup
3 Cups Organic Sprouted Lentils
9-10+ Cups Water (Filtered)
2 Tsps Sea Salt (Real Sea Salt)
1-2 Organic Broccoli Bunch
2 Large Cloves Organic Garlic
3/4 + Can Organic Whole Peeled Tomato
1/2 + Cup Organic Olive Oil
I like to use Sprouted Organic Lentils. Once Lentils are sprouted they are ready to cook and soaking is not needed (not all beans, just Lentils). There are many other benefits of using sprouted foods like easing digestibility and improving nutrition absorption. First bring about 9 cups of water to a boil. Add 3 cups of lentils and bring it to a slow gentle simmer. Watch it carefully, lentils are fragile and will get mushy with vigorous boiling. Simmer lentils for at least 3-6 hours and stir periodically until the soup thickens like in this picture. You may have to add more water from time to time, just enough so that there is a bit of water on top. Once the Lentil Soup has thickened, it's time to saute the broccoli. In a saute pan cut up the garlic into slices and add about 1/2 cup of oil. Saute on medium/low heat until you smell the aroma. Add the broccoli and saute until broccoli softens. Add 3/4 can of the tomatoes, cut into pieces, to the saute pan. Cover and simmer until well combined about 10+ minutes. Combined the sauteed broccoli and sauce into the lentils. Cook another 30-60 minutes. Add salt to taste (I generally add 1/2 -1 tsp more).
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