This healthy lentil soup is perfect for the start of the New Year, but you will appreciate it during the whole winter!
Why Czechs eat lentils on New Year's Day?
The start of a new year is associated with traditions, superstitions and various proverbs in many cultures.
In The Czech Republic, people eat lentils on New Years Day, because they believe that if they do so, money will 'stick' to them for the whole year.
The shape of lentils mimics coins and that's perhaps the inspiration behind it.
This is a nation-wide tradition and you would probably have to look for a household that doesn't follow the case!
Any meal with lentils does the trick, but lentils as a side dish or lentil soup are the most popular ones.
Previously, I've shared with you a recipe for lentil stew with gammon, and today I'm here with a recipe for a delicious lentil soup - which is perfect for a healthy (and wealthy) start of the year!
What do you need to make this healthy lentil soup?
This lentil soup is simple to make and contains many basic ingredients such as lentils, stock, flour, dried herbs, and fresh vegetables such as carrots, onion and garlic. Bacon is fully optional.
Lentils are a source of many valuable nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
I've always cooked the soup with dried lentils and so the recipe is built around it. Remember to soak them in water for at least 3 hours before cooking. They will become softer and will cook more easily.
If you're using canned lentils, follow the instructions on the can, and shorten your cooking times accordingly.
For the stock, I usually use beef or pork, but chicken or vegetable stock will do it great justice as well. The latter one is ideal if you fancy a vegan meal and/or if you're doing Veganuary!
This soup is very rich and filling and can be eaten as a main course too.
How to store this lentil soup?
This lentil soup will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.
It can be stored in a freezer. Leave to cool down and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Defrost directly in a stockpot, bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 mins and serve.
Healthy lentil soup recipe
- ¾ cup dried green lentils
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots
- 2.5 l stock
- 3 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or handful chopped fresh parsley
- salt, black pepper to taste
- 4 slices bacon, diced optional
- Soak the dried lentils in a bowl of water (1.5l) for 3-12 hours before cooking.
- In a large stockpot, heat the oil on medium heat. Add chopped onion and fry for 3-4mins or until soft and glossy.
- Add the stock and turn up the heat. Drain and rinse the lentils. Once the stock starts to boil, add the rinsed lentils. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel the carrots and cut into small dices (0,5-1cm). Peel and gently crush the garlic.
- Add the carrots and garlic into the soup and cook for 10-15 mins or until almost soft.
- If adding bacon, fry it in a frying pan for 5 mins until lightly brown and crispy, set aside.
- In a glass (or cup), mix flour with 100ml of water and whisk together with a fork until smooth and thick.
- Add the flour and water mix into the soup. The soup will thicken. Add the bacon if using. Cook for another 5 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Season with marjoram and parsley, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve warm with a slice of crusty bread or on its own. Enjoy!