There is something about soup that is so comforting and cozy that it’s one of my favourite meals. My mom has been making soups for as long as I can remember, and I’ve learned from her the versatility of this dish. She has a gift for taking the contents of our fridge and creating a new and delicious soup. There was rarely a time that one of her creations didn’t turn out, and that’s one of the reasons I love soups – they’re so easy, it’s hard to mess them up!
I whipped up this soup on a cold and rainy day when I needed a warm meal to raise my spirits. I wanted to create a soup that would be packed with protein and fiber, so I chose to combine two legumes that do just that – lentils and beans. Both of these are high in protein and fiber which is important for those that eat a plant-based diet. Incorporating high fiber foods into your daily diet promotes digestive health as well as regularity, two things that are essential to overall health.
Another reason I love soups is that they are low in calories in relation to quantity. You can eat a large bowl, filling you up significantly without consuming an immense amount of calories but still full of nutrients. Although I don’t count calories, I am mindful of the quality of calories I am consuming. Plus, I love to indulge in dessert every now and then, so I tend to pair these occasions with a low-cal meal.
- 2 tbsp oil of choice
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked red lentils
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high heat & add sliced leek. Sauté for 5 mins or until soft & slightly transparent. Add garlic & sauté until aromatic, 1-2 mins.
- Add carrots, zucchini & spices. Stir & sauté for another few mins.
- Add the whole can of diced tomatoes, red kidney beans, lentils & vegetable broth. Be sure to rinse the beans & lentils with water prior to adding them to the soup. Stir, add bay leaves & season with salt & pepper.
- Increase heat to high, bring soup to a boil & reduce heat. Allow soup to boil on low for 15 mins.
- Remove pot from burner and allow to stand for 5 mins. Serve hot.