By Dianne Bunis
A well-stocked pantry ought to contain lentils. They are budget-friendly and great for nutrition, providing protein, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C.
A spice to keep on hand is curry powder, which contains many powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and adds a rich taste and aroma. While browsing the bulk food in the natural foods section, red lentils caught my eye. I prepared this soup for lunch, served with a salad of baby lettuce.
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large organic carrot, peeled and sliced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 large sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups reduced-sodium organic chicken broth (or veggie broth)
2 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced natural tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 bay leaves
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot, cook until softened, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in broth, lentils and tomatoes, curry powder, bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, 30 to 45 minutes.
Discard bay leaves, season with salt and pepper.
Optional: Add a cup of fresh greens, such as kale or spinach, to the finished soup and cook until tender and bright green.
Next week: A sweet treat from Nashoba Publishing sportswriter Ed Niser.