I really love making a giant pot of soup and keeping a bunch of it in the freezer for just about any meal. Soup is perfect for ladling up into glass containers and storing in the freezer for weeks or even months. It is perfect for warming you up during these ridiculously chilly days and you can pack a ton of healthy ingredients into just about any soup.
This lentil soup is packed with veggies and light on the fat and calories. Lentils are high in fiber and low in fat so they will keep you full but help aid in weight loss. They are also great for your heart health, help lower cholesterol and stabilize your blood sugar. Lentils are also a great option for vegans and vegetarians because they are full of protein. I made it with chicken sausage which was absolutely delicious but you can add any sausage or omit it if you are going meat free.
This particular soup is low in both fat and calories at about 350 calories per serving. This recipe will serve at least 15!
Chicken Sausage Lentil Soup
2 packages of chicken sausage (Target even sells a fantastic brand, try a fun flavor to mix it up)
1 small onion diced
2 stalks of celery diced
4 carrots diced or shredded (I am lazy and just added a big handful or shredded carrots bought from the store)
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth to stay meat free)
3 cloves garlic
1 16 ounce bag of dry lentils
8 cups of water
1 bay leaf
Any seasonings you prefer. I always add in some oregano, basil, garlic salt, thyme.
Cut up the chicken sausage into small cubes. In a large pot (I used my big cast iron skillet) brown the sausage. Once the sausage is cooked through add in the onion, celery and garlic. Stir and cook until the veggies begin to sweat. Add in the remaining ingredients and bring everything to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Continue to cook for 2-3 hours. If you would like you can add any type of pasta to this for the last 20-25 minutes to give it just a little something extra. Throw some parmesan or Romano cheese on top and serve.
You can add in more veggies or a different meat. The best part about making soup is you can really make it your own, a choose your own adventure if you will (I loved those books!).
I recommend buying some glass storage containers (they sell a great set at Costco) to put your left overs in. I try to avoid putting food in plastic containers and definitely do not microwave anything in plastic for fear of chemicals leaching into the food. I have had my set of glass containers for many years and love them because you can safely freeze food in them and they easily pop right into the microwave for a safe reheat. They also are dishwasher safe, making them about as easy to deal with as you are going to find. I am all about low maintenance and safe, healthy eating.
We are getting into the Olympic spirit here. My husband joined a curling club this winter and yesterday I joined him, not to curl but instead to curl up in front of their fireplace and read a good book. He is getting pretty good at curling and I wish I had enough time to get him a pair of the Norwegian team’s pants for Valentine’s Day. Perhaps next year.