I’ve been craving soup these days; salads are just not warming enough.
My mum’s lentil soup, as she says: “to make you rich” is a must to be served on the first day of the year. According to Czech tradition, the lentils will bring money to you and your family all year long.
I don’t know about that, but the soup will definitely make you rich from the inside. It will fill you up but not weigh you down, so you’re full of energy for those busy winter days.
It’s very healthy of course, no shortcuts here, full of protein thanks to the lentils, which I crave so badly now due to my marathon trainings. Homemade vegetable stock (recipe here) gives it that extra deliciousness and homey feel and taste, but if you don’t have it, use low sodium vegetable stock instead, available in all the grocery stores. You can also mix and match vegetables, just use ‘what’s left in the fridge’. I usually put carrots in, but as you can see in the photo, there’s no orange in sight (I was out of them as I used them for my ‘skin glower’ juice this morning). I replaced carrots with frozen peas (fresh are of course impossible to find unless you’re somewhere like Peru).
Let me just remind you how important it is to use good quality sea salt. The ordinary table salt is way too refined; it contains additives and lacks all the needed minerals. Whereas sea salt contains minerals in their natural ratio, these are essential to our diet.
Ingredients all organic if possible, serves at least 6 or 1 person for a full week:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 cups Puy (French green) lentils (soak them beforehand for a few minutes or rinse them properly for an easier digestion)
4 cups homemade vegetable stock (or use low sodium vegetable stock from the grocery stores)
4 cups water
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, rinsed
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
(optional: ½ cup frozen peas)
1- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, celery sticks and carrots and cook until fragrant. Please try and avoid vegetables going brown or burning (no-one wants those free radicals). Stir in the garlic, oregano and bay leaves. Cook and stir for 1 min more.
2- At this time, if you’re including them, take the peas out of your freezer.
3- Add vegetable stock, water and stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about an hour. 5-10 minutes before it’s done, stir in the peas (optional) and spinach.
4- Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Et voila! You’re rich!