Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lentil and Spinach Soup

Blog #9 for the vegan MoFo 2010 challenge!

I love lentils and spinach. I don't have a favorite food, but if I were to rank order my favorites I am sure they would both be in the top ten. Not only do I LOVE the flavor,
I love how many vitamins and minerals that they provide our body. Spinach contains vitamins A, C, K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and folate. Lentils are high in protein, folate, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus. They also contain other vitamins and minerals not listed here. Neither contain any saturated fats, they are not high in sodium, and don't contain any cholesterol.

For as long as I can rem
ember, I have always enjoyed spinach. I think I was the only grade school kid who would proclaim "SPINACH!" when asked "what is your favorite vegetable?" Maybe I am a descendant of Popeye or maybe I knew good, healthy food as a kid. Even though my parents are not vegetarian (my Dad is not even close), we always had two to three vegetables at dinner along side meat. Vegetables were way more of a focus than meat and they were commonplace to me. When I became a vegetarian at age 14, I had a head start because I already liked my vegetables.

Lentils came into my diet after I became a vegetarian. I also loved them from first bite.
It wasn't until I was in graduate school that I started cooking with them on a regular basis. I enjoy experimenting and pairing them with many other foods.

Now that the weather has started to get cold (although you wouldn't know it this week), I have been craving warm soups. They are hardy, easy to cook, and provide food for several meals. So, when we planned our meals last week, we were excited to incorporate a lentil soup into a dinner. There are really so many ways to make a lentil soup. Instead of posting a recipe, I'll just highlight the ingredients we used. You can get creative, put any vegetables and grains into your soup and let it simmer until ready to serve.

On this particular night, we used:
  • Homemade vegetable stock, no salt added
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Lentils (any color will do)
  • Spinach
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
The soup was delicious and provided a dinner and several lunches for us. Go on now, get your soup on!

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