The combination of red lentils and marinara is down right comforting to me, it literally soothes my soul! Mix in some veggies and it’s a healthy delicious soup.
This is one of my all time favorite soups and a staples I make quite often. Many years ago my cousin made me a soup very similar to this one, it was so good I had to recreate. It is the perfect winter soup, it’s filling and satisfying all by itself or enjoy a cup of it with a yummy grilled cheese sandwich.
It goes great with a dry white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a light red like a Pinot Noir.
Recipe – 8 – 12 servings
- 3 Cups Red Lentils
- 12 Cups Filtered Water
- 1 Recipe Marinara Sauce
- 4 Small Potatoes – 1/2 inch diced
- 3 Large Carrots – sliced
- 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Corn
- 3 Cloves Garlic – whole
- 2 Vegetable Bullion Cubes (unsalted)
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt or to Taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or to taste (Optional)
- Optional Garnishes – crushed red peppers, micro sprouts, fresh oregano, chili oil (olive oil & paprika)
* This soup is really good without the vegetables as well. For extra tomato flavor double the marinara sauce.
Make the Marinara Sauce and simmer.
While the marinara is simmering add lentils to a 5 1/2 quart soup pot, rinse thoroughly and strain.
Add the water to the lentils, potatoes, whole cloves of garlic and the bullion cubes then bring to a boil on medium-low heat. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. As the starchy foam surfaces, scoop it off.
While lentils are cooking, in a medium pot add water and then a steam basket, steam carrots on high until soft and add to lentils when potatoes are soft.
After the lentils and potatoes are cooked add the marinara, corn, olive oil, salt and spices.
Simmer on low for 20 more minutes.
It is best after a few hours or the next day.
Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy. A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements. Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain. Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use. The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy. They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.
Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease. They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium. The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. Cooking tomatoes breaks down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil. The Zea-xanthin in them helps filtering harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.” They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.