Lentil Soup

Just one day this week let's have a healthy low calorie, delicious soup. Agreed!

Lentil Soup
Makes about 20 cups, freezes beautifully
1 1/4 cups = 1 vegetable serving
85 calories per cup, yes only 85 calories
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nonstick cooking spray
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups carrots, coarsely grated
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped or 2 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 14 1/2 ounce cans unpeeled tomatoes
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth or dry sherry (It is still the holiday season.)
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1 large whole bay leaf
1/3 cup fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
pinch cayenne pepper
salsa (optional)

Spray a large pot with nonstick cooking spray and saute onions over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, marjoram and thyme; continue to cook and stir for 3 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 25 minutes or until lentils are barely tender.

Add the salt and pepper, wine, fennel, bay leaf, parsley and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until lentils are tender.

Taste soup for seasonings; adjust if necessary. Remove bay leaf before serving. Serve each portion with a large spoonful of salsa, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Serving You Well Cookbook.