I made this lentil soup topped with fresh lemon and parsley and ate it all week. The flavor was wonderful, and it left me feeling full but not weighed down.

Estimated cost: $6 for 6 servings ($1 per serving)

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  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1 T coriander
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Goya seasoning, or a bit of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can crushed tomato
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (or bouillon cubes dissolved in water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped thin
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Soak the lentils beforehand, at least a few but up to 8 or 9 hours. They may start to sprout. This can be made without soaking, but soaking improves the texture, cook time, and nutritional value. After soaking, drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add carrot, onion, and celery (mirepoix) and saute about ten minutes, until the vegetables are softening and aromatic.
  3. Add the seasonings (cumin through oregano) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mince and add the garlic cloves, and saute with the spices another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the canned tomatoes, lentils, and vegetable broth. Add the chopped spinach. Bring to a rolling simmer. While simmering, skim the foam and oil off the top.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low (a lower simmer) and cook about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. This may take longer by 5-10 minutes if you didn’t soak the lentils.
  6. Remove from heat, and add the juice and zest of one lemon. Remove bay leaf, if you used that. Add the chopped parsley. Taste, and adjust for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Note: Store leftovers in the freezer for several months, or in the fridge in airtight containers for about five or six days.


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