Saturday, July 2, 2011
Vegetable Bean & Lentil Soup
This turned out wonderfully delicious even on a hot day! We sat outside in our patio chairs, enjoyed watching the sunset and devoured some amazing soup. Sometimes when I have one or two ingredients I run an Internet search to find something healthy and child-friendly to make. My main ingredients today were beans and lentils. I also wanted it to be low-calorie, flavourful, healthy and stocked full of veggies. I saw a lot of recipes for black bean soup...gave them all a once over and decided to just create my own soup in my crock pot. Best thing about recipes like this are that they are versatile. I used what I had in my cupboard and fridge and you can use what you have, so don't be discouraged if you see something on the ingredients list that you don't have.
Vegetable Bean & Lentil Soup
2 medium onions
2 celery stalks
4 overripe tomatoes
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables(corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
1 cup of kale
1 can of black beans
1 cup of dry navy beans
1/2 cup of dry lentils
4 cups veggie stock
4 cups of cold water
1 package onion soup mix (optional: you can choose to do 8 cups of veggie stock instead, I was just using what I had on hand)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
Makes 15 servings!
Turn your crock pot on low. Dice all the veggies and put them in your crock pot. Add the canned black beans. Then add your vegetable stock, water and onion soup mix. Finally incorporate the spices into the mix.
If you are using dried navy beans and lentils like I did you have to soak them in water for 3 hours and typically boil them for another 1.5. I did this as the rest of my soup was cooking in the crock pot, then added them during the last hour of cook time. You could also just get canned beans, but remember canned means a lot of salt, dried beans have hardly any.
Let your soup cook for 5-6 hours in the crock pot. Then use a blender to puree 10 cups of your soup. If you are using an upright blender do only 1-2 cups at a time because hot soup means steam can force your lid to pop off. Leave the other 5 cups of soup chunky. Pour the blended soup back in with the left over chunky soup and mix them together. It turns out amazing!
I love how low calorie this soup is...I plugged the ingredients into a recipe creator and I came out with:
15 servings at 1 cup each
84 calories per serving
400 sodium (This could be reduced if you used no canned beans and strictly veggie stock)
The review from the family was positive! The hubby had 3 cups worth and loved every bit. Although at this moment he is lying here beside me stuffed and complaining he ate to much! Scratch that now he is sleeping, so remember only a cup or so will do you. I had 1 serving and felt totally satisfied.
My 4 year old is a bit unsure about beans, luckily we had a few parenting tricks. We told our little one that his favorite superhero loved this soup because it gave him the energy to go exploring and run fast. Our little guy hesitated, but then gave it a couple bites..said yuck and then ate more! Got to love that he really wanted to not like it because of the beans, but then ate it because it tasted so good.
My thoughts on this recipe are to enjoy it while you are camping or hiking like us! When the weather starts to cool off in the evening and you can sit outdoors and keep warm. It will keep you full for quite some time and that always helps while outdoors.
Enjoy your long weekend! The weather has finally picked up here, so we've been busy enjoying it.