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Vegetable Soup with Lentils & Seasonal Greens – a delicious, hearty and rustic soup with vegetables simmered in a rich flavorful broth with wilted seasonal greens & lentils
This is what I crave lately … a hearty rustic soup loaded with vegetables simmered in a rich flavorful broth with wilted seasonal greens and lentils. There are so many varieties of lentils available but this French variety (I used Bob’s Red Mill) hold their shape amazingly well. Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse full of fiber and protein and boast an impressive amount of folate, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Lentils make a great addition to most any soup, chili, and even salads.
While we (sadly) try to avoid bacon and other processed meats, I do miss the smokey flavor it adds to a vegetable dish. Did you know Smoked Paprika is a great spice substitute for smokey bacon flavor? This delicious Vegetable Soup with Lentils & Seasonal Greens is proof that you don’t have add meat or give up flavor to eat healthy. A pinch of cayenne rounds out the broth so no need for lots of salt.
Serve with a hearty rustic loaf of whole grain bread for the perfect winter meal.
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Vegetable Soup with Lentils and Seasonal Greens
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
- 1 small leek cleaned and sliced (white and light green parts only)
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 cup butternut squash chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (*see notes)
- 1 pound baby Bok Choy greens cut as a chiffonade, white parts sliced and added with the carrots and other vegetables (*see notes)
- ¾ cup llentils rinsed and drained (French or Puy)
- 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable broth or stock
- 14 ounce no-salt chopped canned tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Drizzle the olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven with a heavy bottom. Heat on medium until hot. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and thyme and sauté until the mixture darkens in color.
- Add the leeks, celery, carrots, butternut squash, white portions of the Bok Choy and the lentils. Stir gently to coat all vegetables in the olive oil then add the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, paprika and cayenne. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Cover the pot with a lid and gently simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped greens and parsley. Heat uncovered until the greens are just tender.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and black pepper. Serve with a hearty whole grain bread if desired.
- Substitute rutabaga or turnips for the butternut squash.
- Use any seasonal greens such as Swiss Chard, kale, Cabbage or spinach in place of the Bok Choy if desired.
- Cut vegetables about the same size so they will cook evenly.
All the decorations are packed away for another year. The cold weather has finally come to Virginia so it’s starting to feel more like winter. We were downtown yesterday and saw a Forsythia bush in bloom. They are always the first to bring flowers in spring but I’m afraid they will freeze this week. It felt like spring for a while 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful New Year! Thanks so much for stopping by!