Monday, February 9, 2015

Italian Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and Basil Oil

A few of my dishes I have made using lentils
The lentil is a bushy annual plant of the legume family, known for its lens-shaped seeds.  It is about 40 cm tall, and the seeds grow in pods, usually with two seeds in each.

Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavors from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year.

Petite red lentils, also known as petite crimson lentils, are small, round legumes with a light pink color. They are typically smaller than a pencil eraser and sold either split into halves or whole. Unlike most legumes, petite red lentils cook quickly since their exteriors are soft and easy for water to penetrate. Lentils contain significant amounts of nutrients in each serving and are an ideal addition to almost anyone’s diet.
Gluten Free
Toss with other grains, muffins, soups, pastas, meatloaf, burgers

Eating Petite Red Lentils

Before cooking lentils, you should wash them in warm water to remove dust and dirt. Submerge the lentils in a bowl of water and pick through them to remove any rocks or foreign objects. Once washed and picked, petite red lentils are useful in a wide array of dishes. Some recipes that use petite red lentils include soups, salads, pastas, sauces and casseroles. Pureed lentils can act as a thickener, as well.


Calories and Fat

A 1-cup serving of cooked petite red lentils contains 230 calories. That is 11.5 percent of an average daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories. While the caloric content might seem a bit high to some individuals, the fat content more than makes up for it at 0.75 grams and no saturated fat. Low-fat foods help prevent heart disease, clogged arteries and many conditions associated with obesity.

Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber

Petite red lentils are rich in slow-digesting carbohydrates and dietary fiber that keep you feeling full and satisfied for two hours or more following a meal. One cup of cooked petite red lentils contains about 40 grams of carbohydrates, or about 18 percent of the average recommended daily intake. The dietary fiber content is about 57 percent of an average DRI at 15.6 grams per serving. Consuming foods high in dietary fiber, such as petite red lentils, lowers your risk of diabetes, heart disease and constipation.


The protein content of lentils is comparable to that of one serving of meat, but generally healthier because they contain low levels of fat. In one cup of petite red lentils, you consume nearly 18 grams of protein. One 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains 18 grams of protein, as well. However, the chicken breast also contains more than 3 grams of fat in comparison to the 0.75 grams in the serving of petite red lentils.

Vitamins and Minerals

With 358 micrograms per serving, petite red lentils are rich in folate, a vitamin your body requires to create new cells and produce iron. One serving also provides about 16 international units of vitamin A. The minerals in a cup of petite red lentils include 731 milligrams of potassium, 356 milligrams of phosphorus and 71 milligrams of magnesium.

Enjoy this recipe I have specially created for you


Italian Red Lentil Soup with Lemon and Basil Oil
Soup Ingredients:
4 TBS olive oil
3 Italian Sausage links
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups red lentil beans
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 dry sherry
32 ozs chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 Bay leaves
1/4 cup grated cheese
salt, to taste
1 cup water

1.  In large skillet, add oil heat on medium heat.
2.  Add sausage links.  Cook until brown.  Remove from pan and slice.
3.  Add celery, onion, garlic and sauté until soft
4.  Add lentils and red pepper flakes stir.  Sautee for 5 mins.
5.  Add sherry to deglaze. Stir
6.  Add broth and spices.  Simmer for approx. 25 mins. 
7.  Add grated cheese, stir. 
8.  Add water if too thick.
9.  Remove bay leaves
10.Serve in bowl with drizzle of lemon oil and basil oil.  Add additional cheese, if desire.

Lemon Oil:
zest from one lemon, with juice
4 TBS olive oil
Puree together until smooth.  Add additional oil, if needed

Basil Oil:
6 large basil leaves
5 TBS olive oil
Puree together until smooth.  Add additional oil, if needed

1 comment:

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