Family Inspiration: Spinach Lentil Soup

Do you remember the cranberry salsa we have a couple weeks back?  That was a recipe I learned from one of my sisters-in-law during our time with the family over Christmas.  I was lucky enough to find a few other food gems on that trip.  A different sister-in-law made us a few delectable meals as well. DSC_1132Can you guess that this soup is one of those meals?  You are right!  Otherwise my story wouldn’t make very much sense:-) She actually made this soup before we got there (we were the last of the family to make it over), but I was able to sample some of the leftovers and I knew that I would have to make it again sometime.DSC_1149I begged the recipe from my dear sister-in-law and I finally found time to squeeze this into our dinner line up.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light and I only made a few changes.  I changed the seasoning a bit and left out the cheese and pancetta.  The cheese was left out since neither my husband nor I can eat it and the other changes are personal preference:-)DSC_1174Should we finally start talking about the soup?  Probably.  Okay, our first step is to sauté the onion, celery, carrots, thyme and bay leaf.  Once the vegetables are soft, add in the lentils, broth and water.  Let this simmer, covered for 40 minutes.  How does this sound so far?  Pretty easy, right?DSC_0515Next, measure two cups of the soup into the blender and puree until smooth.  Add blended soup back into the pot and add the rest of the ingredients: spinach, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and coriander.  Stir everything together and serve immediately.  We love this soup because it is hearty and packed with nutrition, but it tastes amazing as well:-) It is a perfect winter meal!DSC_1157

Spinach Lentil Soup

1 T olive oil

1 ¼ C onion, diced

¾ C chopped celery

¾ C chopped carrot

1 t chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 C dried brown lentils

3 C chicken broth

2 C water

6 oz fresh baby spinach

½ C chopped fresh basil

1 T lemon juice

1 t salt

1 t pepper

½ t coriander

  1. Place large pot on the stove with oil, onion, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaf over medium heat.  Cook for eight minutes or until the vegetables become tender; stir occasionally.
  2. Add lentils, broth and water; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.
  3. Place two cups of lentil mixture into blender.  Remove the center piece of blender lid in order to allow the steam out.  Place remaining lid on the blender and cover the hole with a paper towel (to avoid splatters); blend until smooth.
  4.  Return blended soup to the pan and add the spinach, basil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and coriander to the pot.  Stir spices in and serve immediately.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

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