This lentil soup is delicious, filling, full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein AND can be made for about $5.
Lentils, and beans in general are eaten across the world by almost all cultures and found to prominent in the diets of people who live an exceptionally long time to their 90's and 100's. These areas are called "Blue Zones" and have been studied for the secrets to their longevity.
Of course, its not all about what they eat. They also have rich social connections and community, a strong sense of purpose, and lots of movement as a part of their lifestyle (to see friends, you walk, to mix dough you use your own hands, to eat vegetables, you garden).
Some of the common things that ARE seen about their diets is the emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables (including lots of greens and herbs as well as root vegetables like sweet potato), whole grains, nuts and beans.
This isn't a radical, strict or extreme diet. Its what humans have been eating for hundreds of thousands of years. It's real food prepared from real ingredients, made at home.
Eating well doesn't have to be expensive. This soup using common, inexpensive ingredients. If you can afford to but everything organic, than please do. If you cannot, then pay extra attention to washing. Either way, always give thanks and bless the food asking it to nourish you in the best way possible.
Hearty Lentil Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled and pressed/diced
4-6 stalks of celery, diced
1 can diced tomato
1 cup lentils
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
10-12 oz frozen chopped spinach
salt and pepper
optional: broth or bouillon
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. Sauté until soft, a few minutes. Add celery and garlic and stir for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes including the juice. Stir. Add lentils and stir to coat. Add 6 cups of water (less if you like a thicker "stew" and more if you like a more liquidy soup). If you have bouillon add it now or use broth instead of water. Bring to low boil for 20 or so minutes until lentils are soft. Add the spinach, stir and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls, seated at a table with loved ones. Turn off the TV and remove phones while dining. Express gratitude. Enjoy the food and each others company.