Mediterranean lentil soup comes in many different shapes and sizes: Some are vegetarian while others include meat; some use brown, red, or yellow lentils, and others use green or black lentils; some recipes end in a thick soup while others are more like broth. You get the point. The one thing that remains consistent with lentil soup is that it is a staple food throughout Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, and it is delicious. We’ve found a recipe that we’re obsessed with, and we think you’ll love it too.
Our favorite Mediterranean lentil soup recipe
This recipe from foodnetwork.com is courtesy of Alton Brown and is one of our favorites. This particular recipe is meat-free, and you can make it vegetarian if you use vegetable broth rather than chicken broth. If you like a more meaty soup, you can sub pork broth or create your own using ham bones or ham hocks. You can then pick the meat from the bones and add it to your soup when it’s nearly finished.
The recipe calls for lentils but doesn’t specify which color or style to use. However, it does say to use an immersion blender to finish the soup. If you’re curious, red lentils tend to break down more when cooked and, therefore, create a creamier finished product. Green lentils can be substituted for red but may take a bit longer to achieve the same consistency. If you like a soup on the brothy side, use brown lentils and skip the immersion blender, since brown lentils tend to hold their shape when cooked.
With just 30 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes to cook, you’ll soon have a flavorful, hearty meal specified to your tastes.
Is it healthy to eat lentil soup?
If you’re familiar with lentil soup, you already know the answer to this, but if you’re new to lentil soup, here’s the deal. Yes, lentil soup is good for you because lentils are good for you. Lentils are rich in minerals and protein, low in fat, and high in fiber. Many vegetarians count on lentils for protein since 25 percent of the calories in lentils are protein. Of course, a soup is only as healthy as its ingredients, so if you choose a recipe with meat in it (like smoked ham hocks, for example), you will be increasing the fat in the dish. But as a general rule, lentil soup is healthy.
Are lentils Mediterranean diet?
The short answer: yes. Beans and lentils are a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, in part because traditional Mediterranean cuisine does not feature a ton of meat. Therefore, people depend on plant-based protein foods like lentils.
Can you lose weight eating only lentil soup?
Any eat-only-this diet is designed to last fewer than 10 days. So a lentil soup-only diet is not a sustainable weight loss solution. However, lentils are low in calories, rich in nutrients, and high in protein, which are keys to a healthy diet. Lentils help keep you full for longer, which can aid in successful weight loss.
Do lentils need to be soaked before making soup?
One of the best parts about lentils, when compared to beans, is that they don’t need to go through that extensive soak, rinse, soak, rinse process. You should, however, rinse lentils and give them a quick once over to ensure there aren’t any debris or old, dried-out lentils in the mix. If you want to soak your lentils (and have the time to go through the process), it will cut the cooking time by about half.
Mediterranean lentil soup is a healthy and delicious soup that most people enjoy. Whether you like your soups creamy and thick or brothy with chunks of meat, you can tailor the recipe above to your liking. Lentils pack a ton of protein, which is why they are so popular among vegetarians. This soup is hearty and filling with or without meats. Follow this recipe the first time or two that you make lentil soup, and after that, feel free to tweak it based on your personal preferences. Enjoy!
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