Longevity Lentil Soup
You'll love this dish for at least 2 reasons. Firstly, it's delicious, confirmed by my kids thumbs up. Secondly, it may help you live longer. Ikarians, who live on a Blue Zones designated island where people live longer and happier, love their lentils. Surprisingly, you'll find this plant based vegan dish very satisfying as a main course, maybe with some good sourdough bread for dipping.
The healthiest people around the world eat beans daily, including lentils. Ikarians also eat potatoes frequently, and cook with olive oil then drizzle it on as a finishing touch to most dishes. Every ingredient in this dish is part of the Mediterranean diet, established as one of the healthiest ways to eat for longevity.
- Don't let the vegetables brown while sautéing when making a soup or stews, because that may affect the look and taste of your dish negatively.
- Slowly cooking onions and other vegetables on medium-low for a full ten minutes will release their natural sugars, adding a natural sweetness to your dishes, without adding refined sweeteners.
- Save the liquid you cook your dried beans in, freeze it, and use it in place of chicken broth/stock or bouillon.
What You'll Need
lentils, 1 pound, I used Greek lentils
onion, 1 large, chopped fine, I used a yellow onion
garlic, 3 cloves chopped
potatoes, 2 small white, diced
carrots, 2, diced
celery, 2, diced
tomatoes, 28 ounce canned, whole, I use San Marzanos
thyme, 1 teaspoon dried
parsley, fresh, small handful, chopped for garnish
bay leaves, 3 dried
sea salt, 1 tablespoon
pepper to taste
olive oil, extra virgin. 1/2 cup
red wine vinegar, to splash (optional)
chicken broth or spring water, 8 cups, or more to cover ingredients by 3 inches, I use bean stock left over from boiling beans
- Rinse lentils and pick out any stray objects.
- Chop onion and sauté in a large pot (that you'll cook soup in) over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Do not let brown. Add garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes and thyme and cook for 10 more minutes. Do not let brown.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes (I squeeze them by hand to crush), salt and pepper. Stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, olive oil, and bay leaves, bring to a boil, stir, then reduce to a bubbling simmer. Cook for about an hour, or until lentils are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and splash of red wine vinegar, if preferred.