Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hearty Turkey and Lentil Soup

I first made this soup on a cold, snowy night for a girls-night-in dinner party. My girlfriends loved it and couldn't believe how healthy, filling, and delicious it was. It has quickly become my favorite soup to make because it's incredibly tasty, full of veggies, low in fat, and high in both protein and fiber. Try it just once and you'll be hooked.

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound Ground Turkey Breast
1 medium Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flake (optional, but highly recommended)
3 cloves Garlic, peeled and finly diced
8 cups low-sodium Chicken Stock
1 medium Zucchini, cut into big-bite size chunks
1 medium Red Bell Pepper, stem, seeds, ribs removed, cut into bite size chunks
1 cup dried Lentils
1 cup frozen Corn Kernals (fresh works too)
1 cup frozen Greenbeans (fresh works too)
1 14oz can Diced Tomatoes (choose a "no-salt added" variety)
1/2 cup packed Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt, divided

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and ground turkey breast, breaking up the meat and stirring occasionally as it cooks. After 5 minutes, add the garlic, red pepper flake, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking until the turkey is cooked through. Add the chicken stock, zucchini, red bell pepper, and lentils to the pot. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add frozen corn, frozen green beans, tomatoes, basil, and remaining tablespoon of salt. Continue simmering, covered, for at least 15 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Once lentils are cooked the soup is ready to enjoy.

Serving Size: 2 cups, 290 calories per serving
Tips and Hints: top soup with whole wheat Melba Toasts, parmesan cheese, and a sprinkling of basil or serve with whole wheat baguette on the side

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