Wednesday, November 29, 2006


At any given time, I have a big batch of soup in my refrigerator. Why?

1. It's filling. A moderate bowl makes a very satisfying lunch. A small bowl makes a nice snack. A big bowl makes a filling dinner. You get the idea.

2. It's versatile. I can make soup out of just about anything, which means there's always a way to use up pantry items or leftover veggies. Even yellowing broccoli can find a new life in soup.

3. It's low-calorie. Since I control the recipe, I can make it low-calorie, low-fat, and high in nutrition. I can also make it tasty or not, and this sometimes depends on how much I am experimenting with the recipe.

4. It's simple. Soup is easy to make and simple to reheat. I'm usually working during the day and don't have time for complicated lunch preparation. Since I'm Type A, even slicing and dicing veggies for a salad is more time than I like to spare for lunch.

Last night I made a big batch of Lentil Soup, and I'm sharing the recipe here. I am not including quantities for ingredients, as I approach the art of soup-making much the way Bob Ross approached a canvas: There are no mistakes, just "happy accidents."

  • Diced onion
  • Diced carrot
  • Diced celery
  • Minced garlic
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Dried lentils
  • Veggie broth
  • Bay leaf
  • Basil
  • Chopped spinach
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
Saute onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add crushed tomatoes (I used one small can), lentils (I used about a cup), and veggie broth (I used about 2 quarts). Add spices. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer about 30 or 40 minutes. Wilt spinach in soup (I used frozen, so I just kinda needed to thaw it out in the soup) and add vinegar (to taste). Salt and pepper is optional, of course.

This soup recipe can be altered any way you like. Perhaps you want to use celery flakes instead of diced celery. Maybe you want to add some chopped broccoli. Perhaps some cubed potatoes appeal to you. Soy sauce might be more flavorful to you than balsamic vinegar. Or maybe you'd rather use oregano for the spice instead of basil.

Play with the recipe to find the tastes that suit you. Find your own "happy accident."

1 comment:

Annieann77 said...

I just love soup but have never found a "healthy" simple recipe! Thanks for sharing it, I will definately try this recipe! And thanks for stopping by and posting a comment on my blog!