Lentils are a traditional food for New Year's Day in Italy. The coin shaped lentils are said to represent wealth, and they are, of course, healthy for you! And since we're all looking for health and wealth in 2018, I wanted to share this simple recipe with you all!
Packed with fiber and other nutrients, lentils are a health food powerhouse! A plant-based protein, they can lower your cholesterol, improve digestion and balance your blood sugar. And when they're served up with a bowl full of veggies, you've got one hell of a healthy meal.
What I love about this dish, and eating this way in general; is that this is still a traditional dish. It's something people have made for a long time. I didn't have to search far and wide for the next super food - I merely had to look at my own culture and culinary history! As you move through 2018 with the intent of being healthier (and wealthier), remember to keep it simple. The next big thing, isn't always the best thing. And there's no substitute for real foods.
Buon Appetito & Buon Anno!
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 C. green lentils, rinsed and drained
8 C. vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper
In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes.
Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant. Mix in tomato paste and allow to cook until the paste turns deep brown and the veggies begin to stick to the pot.
Pour lentils into pan. Allow them to toast and absorb some of the liquids from the vegetables; about 2 minutes.
Pour stock into pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Season soup with bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.