Simple Lentil Soup Recipe.

My mom likes to say that there is nothing sexier than a man that cooks, and I tend to agree. I’m excited to bring another post in a continuing series by my good friend and fellow Underwear Yogi, Nick Kindrick. It’s a recipe almost as delicious as Nick himself!

Hello friends in fitness.  Here in the Northeast, we’ve been enjoying some fall-like weather for the past couple of days, which has been a welcome respite from the stifling heat wave that has been this summer.  The cool and windy conditions make me think of fall, which I equate with hearty and fortifying foods.  I’m happy to share with you one of my all time favorite meals – simple, rustic, lentil and chicken soup.  Of course, if it’s 100 degrees where you live, you can still enjoy it by making some slight changes to lighten it up a little.  Either way, with the addition of a green salad, this is a highly nutritious and gratifying meal.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over for any stones or debris
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a couple sprigs of thyme (fresh or dried, but fresh would be better)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno (optional), chopped with seeds and veins removed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken breasts or thighs and legs, on the bone preferably but skin removed
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro and/or parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Place the lentils, bay leaf, thyme, sweet potato, and chicken in a medium pot with the water.  If you leave the chicken on the bone, the bones will add richness and flavor to the broth, but that is not essential.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to medium, stirring occasionally.  While that is cooking, put the olive oil in a small pan and heat to medium.  Add the onion, celery, carrot and jalapeno.  Add a substantial pinch of salt to the lentils and the chicken after they’ve been cooking for a while, and  another healthy pinch to the vegetables in the olive oil.  Stir and cook the veggies until the onions are translucent and the other vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).  If they begin to caramelize, turn the heat to low.

When the lentils are cooked and the chicken is cooked through – somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes – remove the bay leaf, thyme and chicken, if on the bone.  Discard the herbs, and remove the meat from the bone.  Be careful as the chicken will be hot, so best to let it cool for five minutes or so.  Cut or tear the meat into bite size pieces.  It should fall right off.  Return the chicken to the soup and add the onion, carrot, celery and jalapenos (and the olive oil).

Bring to a boil once again, stir and then lower the heat.  If you’d like a thicker, stew-like soup, continue to cook, until the ratio of liquid to veggies, lentils and meat dissipates (just be careful not to burn, so stir frequently).  Otherwise, you can make this dish a little lighter, by cooking it less time, so there is a larger ratio of broth to the solids.

Garnish with the cilantro and parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Most people are not aware how awesome this little legume is.  1 cup of cooked lentils has about 19 grams of protein AND they’re loaded with soluble fiber – 16 grams in that same cooked cup, which means lentils have a very low glycemic load (although the sweet potatoes alter this, so if blood sugar levels concern you, omit the sweet potato).  They’re also a great source of folate (vitamin B9, or folic acid in the synthetic form of a supplement), which is essential for cell production.  They’re also a good source of iron.  And unlike beans, lentils obviously need no presoaking time (otherwise I would have noted that in the recipe).

So toss together a little green salad and enjoy this amazingly wholesome – and delicious – meal.

Comments

  1. Sounds good I’ll give it a try. Thanks Nick!

  2. AND ITS VEGAN! oh wait 🙁 it has chicken bits in it. oh well 😛

  3. If you want a vegan alternative, TVP (textured vegetable protein) and lentils are a killer combination. You just have to increase the amount of seasoning and I’d recommend adding some vegetable broth too.

  4. Hello, i really think i will be back to your page