Thursday, January 9, 2014

Lentil and Barley Soup



Looks good, huh? 

I don't know if I lost any weight; I will find out at my weigh-in on Saturday, but eating all of these "Power Foods," I feel amazing. 

Something came to mind yesterday:  When I was a "Skinny Mini Me" about 15 years ago, I used to eat like this often.  I guess with all the cooking contests and my interest in food, I've gotten away from it.  But I'm learning that one can still be a "foodie" and eat incredibly healthy. 

If you are doing Weight Watchers ®, according to the calculations I ran on their site's online e-tools, this recipe has a points value of only 3 for approximately a 1 1/4 cup serving.* 

Even if you are not watching your weight, it's a healthy "Power Food" option as a side dish for lunch or even a main dish with a nice side salad for dinner. 

If you want to decrease the points value even more, you can leave out the barley.  However, Google the health benefits of barley, and you'll see why you might want to include it.

Here you go:

Ingredients:

1/2 tbs. canola oil
1 cup sliced carrot (plus carrot greens, optional)
1/4 chopped celery
2 medium scallions, chopped, (white and light green parts only)
1 tbs. chopped fresh rosemary
1/8 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped uncooked kale
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
24 ounces cold water
1 1/2 cups dry green lentils
1 tsp. garlic powder
15 ounces whole peeled canned tomatoes with juice from can
1 tsp. course sea salt
1 tbs. grated Parmesan cheese
32 ounces 50% reduced sodium vegetable broth
1/8 cup pearled barley (cooked by package directions)

Directions:

Add oil to soup pot.  Toss in the carrot, celery and scallions.  Cook for about three minutes until the vegetables soften. 

Add the carrot greens, if using.  Reverse a few for a garnish.  Mix well and cook for about a minute.

Add the rosemary, black pepper and crushed red pepper.  Continue to cook for about a minute until the fragrance of the rosemary and the red pepper release.

Add in the kale in batches, until it wilts.

Sprinkle in the nutmeg and toss with the kale. 

Add the water, the lentils and the garlic powder. 

Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Mix well to combine ingredients. 

Add the sea salt, the cheese and the vegetable broth.  Stir. 

Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, covered, about 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, cook the barley per package directions and keep warm.

Portion out even amounts of the barley and add to bowls of soup. 

Enjoy!

I'll see you soon with more light and healthy recipes that foodies like me will love.

*Not an endorsement of the weight loss program, and no compensation was given to blogger. 



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