IMG 8599 300x300 - What to Make this Weekend: Lucky Lentil SoupHappy Friday! Hope your 2015 is off to a great start. Traditionally, there are certain foods eaten on New Years Day that are thought to be “lucky.” I like to extend that to all of January. I really feel like this first month of the year can set the tone for the months to come. Here’s the lentil soup I made to enjoy yesterday.

This soup features lentils-round foods are thought to attract money because they resemble coins-and greens because, well, green = money. Money soup! It also happens to be full of protein and fiber to help you stay full (helpful if you’re trying to stick to a weight-loss goal) and plenty of vitamins A, C, D, and K plus B-vitamins like folate and B-6 as well as iron. The potassium in this soup can also help with hangover headaches and muscle cramps leftover from dancing on New Year’s Eve. It also happens to be delicious. My favorite way to enjoy this is with a poached egg on top-the added protein, omega-3, and choline make it a good “brain food” for the dead of winter.

Ingredients:

1 cup lentils
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 8-oz container sliced white mushrooms
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 bunch kale, torn into small pieces
1 tsp herbes de Provence (or a mix of rosemary, oregano, and thyme)
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until lentils are tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, carrot, and celery until soft.
Add mushrooms and herbs. Cook until just beginning to get soft, about 5 minutes.
Add broth or more water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Add kale a little at a time, stirring in until wilted. Add more broth or water if needed.
Add lentils. Cook for another 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot. Top with a poached egg if desired.

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Some other things you can make this weekend:

Here, from Food 52,  are some creative uses for (leftover?) champagne you may have from New Year’s Eve. People actually end up with leftover champagne?

If you’re totally over alcohol and thinking about what the hell you’re going to eat for dinner in these first weeks of 2015, they also have a great round-up of weeknight recipes.

Since my mom’s birthday is coming up next week, I’m visiting the family Sunday for a little celebration. I will not subject their collective palate to my attempt at making a birthday cake, but this S’mores Cake in a Jar recipe from How Sweet It Is sounds like it would be fun to try. I don’t care if it’s from 2011 and mason jars as serving vessels are “out”—let me have my nostalgic mason jar moment.

What are you up to this weekend? Any cooking on the agenda?

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