Lentil Soup with Caramalized Onions
I love soups and so does my family. Be it summer or winters, spring or fall we have soup for dinner at least twice to thrice a week. In fact, I had introduced Macher Jhol and Bhaat (Fish Curry and Rice) to Lil Sid as Fish Soup with Rice!
This winter too, we had soup almost every night of the week. Last month we had to tackle a lot of health issues like tooth infection, tooth extraction, toe injury, diarrhea and cold and flu in general. So soups were the easiest and the most nourishing meal that I could come up with.
I prefer making chunky soups with lots of vegetables and meat, if we are having the soup as the main course, with breads or cracker on the sides. This winter, I made this Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions pretty often. Firstly, because its DELICIOUS and keeps you full for a long time. And secondly, lentils are sky-high in fiber, a good portion of which is the heart-healthy soluble type. When you are a diabetic, you should be extra careful about your heart health.
Sausage, Kale, and Lentil Soup and Ingrid Hoffmann's Caramelized Onions and Lentil Rice. I liked the idea of topping lentils with caramelized onions. The red wine infused onions works magic with the smokiness of cumin and paprika in the soup to create a delightful blend of flavors . Though this soup looks that it required a lot of effort, its actually pretty easy to put together. You can cook the soup and caramelize onions simultaneously, in separate pans. The only effort needed is slicing a hell lot of onions and handling the tears that they bring.
Now for the Soup, you can use as many or as little vegetables that you wish or have in hand. I love to add celery and spinach to this soup, but was out on those today. I have used brown lentils (Kala Masoor Daal/ Chilk wala Masoor ki daal), but black or green lentils can be used too. Do not use Red Lentils (Masoor Daal) as it becomes mushy very easily and you'll get Dal instead of a soup. The original recipe used sausage, but I prefer using lean ground meat like ground turkey or chicken. Today I have used ground Turkey. This soup can easily turn vegetarian by omitting the ground meat and using vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock.
This soup is a meal in itself or you can have it with any crusty bread or even plain bread slices. Serve it with some buttered Garlic naan and it'll be a match made in heaven. This warm and hearty soup fills you up, makes you feel better and drives away the winter blues.
Lentils are sky-high in fiber, a good portion of which is the heart-healthy soluble type. They’re also a great low-fat replacement for animal protein, which is often full of saturated fat. Lentils are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Iron, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate and Manganese. Lentils are a winning combination of high-quality carbohydrates, lean protein, and soluble fiber that helps stabilize your body's blood-sugar levels and keeps hunger in check.