• Natalie Aley

Cheap, nutritious, yummy - Lentil/bean soup


I’ve seen so many requests from people asking  bloggers to share some cheap, delicious vegan recipes.

I cook this soup almost every week. It’s a hearty, soul-warming recipe that I’ve created myself, and so far no other lentil soup tasted better!

Easy to make, this wonderful dish will feed your family for a week. Needless to say, if you are vegan, anything from the legume family should be a frequent guest on your table. There are many reasons:

LOW IN CALORIES


One serving of lentil/bean soup contains 163 calories. If you follow a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, this accounts for 8.1 percent of your daily calorie allowance. While your nutritional requirements may vary based on fitness goals, sex and lifestyle, a typical meal should have 300 to 600 calories -- making lentil soup a good choice to help you stay within recommended calorie ranges.

GOOD SOURCE OF MACRONUTRIENTS


Lentils are a healthy source of carbohydrates, a macronutrient that your body converts to glucose, which provides energy.


HIGH IN FIBER


Fiber benefits your digestive system and bowels, preventing diarrhea, constipation and diverticulitis.


EXCELLENT SOURCE OF IRON


A serving of this soup contains 16.2 mg of iron, which promotes the production of red blood cells and is critical to helping you keep anemia at bay. This soup also provides potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, manganese and pantothenic acid. Also, lentil and beans are made up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative.

It’s one of the most affordable meals you can think of! Given that the price of the beans mix is $2.19 per lb; carrots and onions are around 50 cents each, the cost of the dish will be around $6!!!!

As I’m posting this recipe on January 4rd, should I mention that it’s the best remedy from the New Year`s hangover? Lol


I could list the benefits of this soup forever but without further delay, let’s get to business!!!



First thing first. This is not a traditional lentil soup. I use the mix of beans and lentils. I discovered this mix while shopping at Sprouts once and I never came back to cooking a regular lentil soup.


The reasons are: 🥗 using different types of legumes increases the nutritional value of the dish 🥗 lentils and beans absorb water differently which creates a certain texture. The lentils, cook fast, have a sweeter flavor and soften up to the point of a puree making them perfect for soups while beans take longer. By the time beans are cooked to the desirable condition, lentils have already been almost dissolved in water giving the soup thickness and creaminess. 🥗 it’s so colorful and eye-pleasing.

If you don’t have Sprouts, just get all kinds of beans and lentils and mix them up and keep the mix in your pantry! Believe me, you will use it a lot!

Now, a little tip before we jump to cooking. If you are short on time, soak your mix overnight.  It will cut your cooking almost in half. I normally do other meal prepping or exercising in the kitchen while I’m waiting for my soup to get ready, so I don’t soak the mix in advance.


Ingredients

For 6 portions of the soup, you’ll need: 1 large yellow or sweet onion

2 large carrots 2 tbl spoons of olive oil 6 cups of water 1 cup of the beans mix (if you like the soup more "brothy") 1,5 cup of beans mix (if you like your soup thicker)

1 tbl spoon of paprika 2 tbl spoons of curry powder 1 tea spoon of turmeric 1 tbl spoon of finely chopped garlic 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro Salt to taste

Cooking time: 50 min (if you soak the mix overnight) 90 min (if you don’t soak the mix overnight)


🍲 Pour the water in the stockpot and add the beans mix. Put on a medium heat and bring it to a boil. Make sure that the bean mix doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Stir occasionally.

🍲 Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in a pan with olive oil till it turns slightly yellow.

🍲 While the water is boiling and onions are being sautéed, peel the carrots and grate them. Add them to the onions and sauté with extra olive oil if needed for approximately 5 more min.


I learned this trick with my mom. Sautéing onions and carrots before adding them to the soup will give the broth a golden color and the stock will be thick and yellow. I never use the vegetable broth as I don’t like the taste of it, and I prefer making my own.



🍲 Add onions and carrots to the boiling water

🍲 Time to add spices. Add garlic, curry powder, paprika and turmeric. I add salt in the end when the taste of the broth is already defined and I can see the clear picture.

🍲 Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer till the large beans beans are soft.

🍲 Add cilantro and salt 10 min before the soup is ready.

🍲 You can serve it with oven warm pita bread, pickles, crackers!


Thank you so much for subscribing! Please, if you have any questions, feel free to email or connect with me on my Instagram @natalie_aley Your feedback will be highly appreciated. If you are here, that means that you want to attract more wellness into your life and I'm here to help. I`ve been living this lifestyle for almost 5 years now and it`s the best thing you can do for you. The next article will be dedicated to my favorite breakfast recipes. Stay tuned!

Enjoy!




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