Simple Family Dinner: Lentil Soup

February 25, 2013 | SHOPPING | By Lynn Morrison

Getting children to eat healthy food can sometimes feel like the ultimate challenge. When you find something that your child loves to eat AND is good for them, it quickly becomes a staple in your family meal plan. When I was asked to participate in the Simple Family Dinner series, I knew right away which meal I wanted to contribute: lentil soup.

My husband and I both like lentils, but our oldest daughter loves them. If I want to see her face light up with a huge smile, I just tell her that we are having lentil soup for dinner. She licks her bowl clean and asks for seconds every time. Lentil soup is a great item to have in your repertoire. It is easy to make and a great way to pack a lot of nutrients in a little bowl. The best thing about it is that the base recipe can be customized a hundred different ways depending on your preferences and availability of supplies. Here is my recipe and suggestions on how to mix things up.

SimpleFamilyDinnerBlogHop zps61b8cafe Simple Family Dinner: Lentil Soup

LENTIL SOUP

Base Ingredients:
1 medium-sized Sweet Onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed and diced
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
250g of dried lentils
500mL of broth

Add-On Ingredients:
Diced Carrots
Leeks
Cabbage
Mushrooms
Zucchini
Cauliflower
Red and Green Peppers
Other local vegetables

Spices and Seasonings:
I usually use a teaspoon or two of ground thyme and ground sage, however you can use curry powder and some coconut milk if you want a more Indian flavor. You can use dried basil, parsley and cilantro if you want a more fresh flavor. Play around with the spices and see what you like best!

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet, combine your olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute the onion and garlic until the onion becomes clear. If you are including leeks, cabbage or peppers, add them to the skillet and saute them for a few minutes so that they take on some of the flavor of the onions and garlic.

Remove the skillet from the heat and put the contents into a large pot or a slow cooker. Add in any extra add-on ingredients, the lentils and the broth. Depending on how many other vegetables you include in your soup, you may need to add more broth. The broth should just cover the top of the vegetables in the pot. Add your seasonings and spices in, stir, and cover the pot.

If you are using a slow cooker, you can cook this on low (8 hours), medium (6 hours) or high (4 hours) depending on how much time you have. Since the contents is entirely vegetarian, you don’t have to worry that you will have undercooked meat. If you cook this on the stove, you will need at least 30-45 minutes for all of the vegetables to get soft and for your lentils to cook completely. You should check the instructions on your package of lentils for their exact cooking time. Whichever method you choose, keep an eye on the soup and add more broth or water if it seems to be getting dry.

Once the vegetables are all soft, use a small handblender to smooth the soup out into a thick cream. This cream is the secret to hiding extra vegetables in the recipe. If your child prefers chunky food, you can just partially blend the soup. This is really a matter of texture, so you can blend as much or as little as you want.

Serve warm with a dash of olive oil and some grated cheese on top. I like to accompany ours with fresh hot bread and an array of cheeses. You can also add in sausage or sliced deli meat if you want more protein. This soup packs in so many vitamins and proteins, you can let your child eat cookies for dessert without feeling any guilt!

I hope that you enjoy this soup as much as my daughter does. It is so easy to make and still super tasty!

Would you like to see some other Simple Family Dinner recipes? Take a look at the Pinterest board or view the sites of the participating blogs:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom | Inspired by Family | Sun Scholars | This Reading Mama | Life by Ashley Pichea | In Culture Parent | Raising Life Long Learners | Glittering Muffins | Octavia and Vicky | Kid World Citizen | Kitchen Counter Chronicles | Nomad Parents | Childhood 101 | Triple T Mum | Adventures in Mommydom | The Freckled Homeschooler | Teach Beside Me | The Chirping Moms | Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes | So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler | Pickle Bums | The European Mama | The Golden Gleam | Forever, For Always, No Matter What | Motherhood on a Dime | Harrington Harmonies | Rainy Day Mum | Jenni Fischer | Cakes and Sribbles | Toddling Into Madness | Mermaids’ Makings | Mud Hut Mama | Here Come the Girls | All Done Monkey | Small Potatoes | Little Artists

 

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One response to “Simple Family Dinner: Lentil Soup”

  1. […] 2/25 Kitchen Counter Chronicles: Chickpea Salad with Flank Steak & Nomad Parents: Lentil Soup […]

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