In case you hadn’t noticed, I am mildly obsessed with lemon. My chicken is tenderized with it, my salads are dressed with it and quite frankly, my kitchen hand soap is scented with it. When I had a cold growing up, my mother would always make me Syrian Chicken Soup. It is just like regular chicken soup except we add lemon juice, chick peas and spinach. No wonder the Mediterranean diet is recommended by Mayo Clinic. (Note to Self: Must post chicken soup recipe to Liz’s Lemon Bowl.)
Similar to our chicken soup, my family also adds lemon juice and greens to our lentil soup. This hearty meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect solution for anyone looking to eat less meat. As I’ve said before, I love meat just as much as the next gal, but I try to eat as much organic meat as possible. Organic meat is a bit pricey so I have found ways to incorporate other forms of protein into our diet that are a bit more budget-friendly.
Lentils are cheap, hearty, delicious and quick cooking. Lentils contain cholesterol-lowering fiber and have also been proven to help regulate blood sugar levels. One cup of cooked lentils will only cost you 230 calories. They also provide excellent sources of two types of B Vitamins, iron, potassium and folate, just to name a few. My Lemony Lentil Soup with Spinach is a fabulous and filling main course full of protein and fiber, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol that is typically associated with sources of protein. It is so healthy you won’t feel an ounce of guilt splurging on that ice cream cone after dinner. (Not that I’ve ever had that experience.)
Your spoon is waiting.
Lentil Spinach Soup with Lemon
- 2 c carrots chopped
- 2 c celery chopped
- 2 c onions diced
- 6 cloves garlic chopped
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- 2 tbs cinnamon
- 2 tbs cumin
- 1 c lentils rinsed and sorted
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 4 c water
- 4 c chicken broth low sodium
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 boxes frozen leaf spinach each box should be 10oz. Thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture
- 1 Juice of lemon
- Spray a large soup pot with non-stick spray and heat over medium-high.
- Sautee carrots, celery, onions and garlic for 3-6 minutes or until they start to tenderize.
- Add salt and pepper to season and help release juices.
- Add cinnamon and cumin directly to the vegetables and stir.
- Cook for an additional 2 minutes to bring out spices.
- Add lentils and sautee an additional 2 minutes.
- Season with pepper and add water, chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce for 30-45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Just before serving, add spinach and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Feel free to add more cinnamon, cumin, salt or pepper.
- Remove bay leaf before serving.