That being said, I still like to begin the new year in a healthy way and get back into a good routine. If you are feeling a little “full” or sluggish after so much heavy and decadent food, I have a perfect meal for you. (It’s also rather chilly outside so that makes it even better!)
VEGETABLE LENTIL SOUP
- 2 cups brown lentils
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
- 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 4 oz. baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbs. dry sherry
- 2-oz. piece Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Directions: Pick over the lentils and discard any misshapen lentils and grit. Rinse well and drain.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
Stir in 6 cups water, the lentils, tomatoes, soup base seasoning, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils are very tender, about 20 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, uncovered, until the spinach is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the sherry.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and use a vegetable peeler to garnish the soup with shavings of the cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
**HINT If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby they have wonderful prepared steamed Lentils in the produce section.
Adapted from a recipe by Williams-Sonoma.