Lentil Soup

This soup is one of our favorites.  It is packed with protein, fiber and taste.  It feeds many and makes wonderful leftovers for dinner or lunch.  Plus lentils are very inexpensive – approximately $2.00 a bag.  A few weeks ago I made the blended version and my almost 2-year-old grandson loved it.  

Lentil Soup - finished

Lentil Soup
Serves 8
A rich savory soup.
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  1. 1 bag of lentils, sorted and rinsed
  2. 4 pieces of bacon (optional)
  3. 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  4. 1 large leek, sliced
  5. 2 carrots, chopped
  6. 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  7. 1 15 oz tomato sauce
  8. 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  9. 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  10. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  11. Salt and Pepper to taste
  12. Note: May need additional broth, water, or milk (I use unsweetened almond milk) for a thinner consistency soup.
  13. Green Onion - chopped - garnish
  14. Sour Cream - garnish
  1. Place the lentils on a cookie sheet. Remove any rocks or stones. Put the lentils in a large bowl of cool water. Use your hands to gently wash. Pour lentils into a colander and set aside.
  2. To prepare your leek - cut the dark part of the stalk away. Fill your kitchen sink with cook water. Slice the leek length way in half and then once more so you have 4 quarters. Place in water and gently pull the layers of leek apart and rub dirt away. You'll be amazed how dirty this vegetable is. Remove from water and dry with a kitchen towel and then slice.
  3. Now it's time to get started. Place a dutch oven on low-medium heat on burner of stovetop.
  4. Option 1 - Cut bacon strips in 1 1/2 inch piece and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan - leave drippings.
  5. Option 2 - Heat olive oil.
  6. Add leeks to pan and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often so they don't burn.
  7. Add carrots and celery to pan and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add lentils and stir for 2 minutes.
  9. Add remaining ingredients except green onion and sour cream and cook for 30 minutes covered on low.
  10. Two options for serving soup...
  11. 1. Blend soup in blender or VitaMix. Be careful to put small amounts of the soup in your blender at a time to avoid burns. Place blended soup in a new pan or container. This soup when blended will have a clay type color - it's not pretty but it's good.
  12. 2. Serve chunky as is.
  13. The soup can be topped with sour cream and green onion.
  1. Chopped chicken can also be added to this soup.
Deliciously Inspired http://www.deliciouslyinspired.com/
GC - Roast Beef - Bacon
Bacon is an option.

Sliced leeks.

Lentil Soup - carrots and celery
Adding the carrot and celery.

Lentil Soup - lentils added
Add the lentils and follow the recipe and you’ll soon be eating a yummy, nutritious soup..

Here is a recipe using lentils for breakfast 


Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna

When I was a child one of my favorite meals my mom cooked was her lasagna.  It was good all year round but my happy memory is when I would come into the house on a cold winter California day from school and smell this dish in the oven.  As I began cooking for my own family I appreciated the ease of this recipe.  So I’ve tweaked it a bit for me since I don’t eat much meat these days but am also including how I make it for my meat eating-gluten-free husband.

I use Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta which makes this lasagna a little different because it uses rotini and not the long traditional lasagna noodle.  Serve with side salad and you are good to go.  Remember dishes like this are always extra good the next day.

brown rice pasta lasagna 4 x 6

Brown Rice Pasta Lasagna

2 cups              Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta
1 jar                  Marinara Sauce – I like Paul Newman Brand
2 cups              Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1- 1/2 cup        Ground beef or turkey sausage – Meat Version
1/2 cup             Trader Joe’s Vegan Chorizo  – Non Meat Version
2 cups               Mushroom, sliced  – Non Meat Version

Prepare and 8 x 8 square pan or a 10 X 6 oblong pan with vegetable spray.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown meat or meat alternative – drain grease if needed
In a bowl combine meat and sauce and combine well.  Set aside.
For non meat version – saute mushrooms in a skillet sprayed with vegetable spray.  This will give the mushroom a meat like texture and remove some of the moisture so the lasagna isn’t soggy. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Bring a large bowl of water to a boil.  Add pasta, stir often for about 8 minutes.  This is a reduced cooking time listed on the package but the pasta will finish cooking in the oven.  Then drain and rinse under cool water.   Pat with paper towels to get as much of the moisture off the noodles.

Now you are ready to assemble..
First Layer – Place half of the meat sauce in prepared pan and spread evenly.
*Non-meat version – Add a layer of mushrooms on top of meat sauce layer.
Second Layer  – Place half of the pasta evenly over the meat sauce
Third  Layer – Spinkle half of the cheese over pasta.
Repeat layers
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes covered.
Remove foil and bake for 15 additional minutes
To crisp up the top – Turn broiler on low and watch very carefully.  This will only take a few minutes for it to get golden brown.
Now is the hardest part in our family…Let rest on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before cutting into.

4-6 Servings

Note:  For a 9X11 pan – double ingredients.

Here are the meat alternatives I use.  I have found the Lightlife Smart Ground Crumbles at Fry’s Marketplace.  The Soy Chorizo is a Trader Joe’s product.

Meat Alternatives