A big bowl of hearty, rustic lentil soup. The perfect antidote to an extended long Easter weekend of of unfettered overindulgence. This Lemon, Silverbeet and Lentil Soup is wholesome and nourishing, jam-packed with in season produce picked from my father’s vegetable garden. Leafy green silverbeet, low in calories and rich in phytonutrients the star of the show. A gorgeous pairing with nutty green lentils; their earthiness freshened up with a little lemon zest and juice.
At just 86 calories for a very filling one cup serve, this soup is delicious and very, very good for you. Easy to prepare, it’s welcome addition to my Autumn 5-2 fast day recipe repertoire. The bonus is that one big batch goes a long, long way. Enough to enjoy immediately for lunch or dinner, with a generous amount of leftovers to freeze for another day. The perfect ready meal solution for those inevitable fast days when I’m tired and hungry, and just can’t seem to summon up the energy to cook.
Lemon, Silverbeet and Green Lentil Soup
Makes 12 cups (86 calories per cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)
1 onion, diced (46 calories)
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped (54 calories)
2 cloves garlic, finely (8 calories)
1 small red chilli, finely chopped (4 calories)
1 bunch (3 cups stems and 5 cups leaves) silver beet (56 calories)
1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced (26 calories)
1 large rib celery, finely diced (8 calories)
3/4 cup green (Puy) lentils (510 calories)
1 lemon, zested and juiced (12 calories)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (2 calories)
1 1/2 litres (6 cups) chicken or vegetable stock (120 calories)
the rind of a piece of parmesan cheese (50 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
RUN a sharp knife down the stalks of the silver beet to remove the stem from the leaves. Finely dice stalks. Stack leaves on top of each other, tightly roll up and shred into thin strips.
PLACE oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
ADD onion, leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until tender and translucent.
ADD celery, carrots, silver beet stalks, lemon zest and chilli. Cook stirring occasionally until tender.
STIR in lentils. Then add stock, parsley and parmesan cheese rind.
BRING to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just al dente (tender but still firm to the bite).
ADD silver beet leaves and cook until they begin to wilt.
REMOVE the parmesan rind from the soup. Add the lemon juice and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
LADLE into bowls to serve.