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Winter Lentil and Vegetable Soup

 

In light of this Arctic air we are experiencing across North America, I thought it would be highly appropriate to suggest we warm our tummies with some hearty soup. And because adequate hydration is beneficial for digestion, exercise, sleep, and many other body functions (which I suspect may be a part of your new years resolutions this year), I absolutely love that soup doubles as a great way to get those fluids in when a refreshing beverage seems daunting. Because, if you’re like me, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to make this happen in the colder months.

In addition to fluid, this recipe contains an impressive amount of fibre and protein, nearly a serving of legumes, and 1.5 servings of vegetables per cup. The latter two (namely, legumes and vegetables) being aspects of our intake that it is hard to get too much of.  In addition to contributing abundant vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, consuming ample beans & lentils will increase the satisfying volume and fibre content provided by meals, which is a huge nutrition win for most. For more information on this highly varied group of nutrition powerhouses, I encourage you to give my blog on the topic a read.

Of note for the ingredients used in this recipe, whether fresh or frozen, fruits and vegetables will have similar nutrient values – just make sure to check the label for sodium content when choosing frozen veggies. To boot, having extra produce stocked in the freezer is a very smart strategy to ensure you get ample servings every day – because when the nourishing option becomes the convenient, it is very hard to turn down. Trust me when I say that making nutrient dense food accessible and affordable is important to ensure healthy intake habits stick for the long haul.

While we’re on the topic of being practical and affordable, I want to discuss another ingredient I put to use in this recipe: Italian spice. Yes, store bought Italian spice works in a pinch, but a more economical (and lower sodium!) approach to seasoning is to attempt to make your own. Before you lose interest, let me assure you that this is very easy! Italian spice mix contain just 4 key ingredients which can easily be acquired – all you have to do is mix them up! To make the specific quantity needed for making one batch of this recipe you’ll need: 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp rosemary, ½ tsp thyme; to make this concoction closer to store bought varieties, you’ll want to add a good pinch of salt as well. After making this recipe a few times, I am a big fan of double or tripling the recipe and freezing it in batches of 1-2 cup servings for a nutritious and delicious meal addition or snack in a pinch.

Highlights of making this recipe:

  • The ingredients are easy to locate in most grocery stores and markets and they are inexpensive.
  • Very little hands-on time is required in preparing this recipe and this soup is ready to serve in ~60 minutes.
  • Clean-up is quick and easy and the majority of the dishes created while preparing this recipe can be washed while the soup is simmering.
  • This soup is great to make-ahead for a week of nutritious eating: simply let cool for ~30 minutes and refrigerate until cold. Cover and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
  • Leftover soup keeps its texture and consistency well in the refrigerator – the lower, back portion of the refrigerator is ideal for storage as this is likely the coolest area.

 

Enjoy, and stay warm folks!

 

Macros per 1 Cup Serving

Calories: 122 
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Sugar: 4 g
Fibre: 5 g

 

Print Recipe
Winter Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Diced Onion
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Garnish*
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Garnish*
Diced Onion
Instructions
  1. To a large (>12 cup) pot, add stock and green lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for ~20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat - fry onion, garlic, celery, potato, herb seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, until potato is cooked through and onion is softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Once lentils have finished cooking (all the vegetable broth has been absorbed), add onion mixture to pot.
  4. Using potato masher, mash soup until slightly thickened but still chunky. Add carrot, peas, corn and tomato paste; simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Lastly, stir in lemon juice.
  6. To serve, ladle into bowls; garnish each 1 cup serving with a scant tablespoon of parsley.
Recipe Notes

*Though it will up the calories and fat slightly, and make this soup non-vegan, garnishing each bowl with shredded sharp cheddar or parmesan cheese turns this simple starter into a more decadent dish.

Virginia Clough

Virginia Clough, RD

As a dietitian, I love all things food - be it cooking (experimenting with flavours to create new recipes and altering classic recipes to improve their nutritional profile), reading nutrition related articles or enjoying nutritious and delicious foods. I hope that you enjoy your visit, and find some helpful tips worth sharing!