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Colorful Lentil Soup

This simple lentil soup is bursting with colors and flavors and is easy to prepare in one pot. Red lentils are a small, orange colored legume that are high in fiber and protein. The celery, carrots, and zucchini also provide an abundance of fiber and nutrients which are helpful for a head and neck cancer patient to keep the immune system strong and promote regular bowel movements. If your mouth is sore or irritated, you can omit the lime juice and reduce or omit the tomatoes.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow or white onion, finely diced

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

1 tsp salt, more to taste

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried thyme

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (use less tomatoes, or omit altogether if mouth irritation)

1 cup red lentils, rinsed well

3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth

2 cups water

Black pepper to taste

1 cup baby kale or spinach, chopped

Juice of ½ a lime, or to taste (Omit lime if mouth sores are present)

Directions:

  1. Warm olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, dice and slice the celery, carrots, and zucchini. Add these to the onion mixture as well as the seasonings (salt, turmeric, cumin, and thyme).
  3. Stir often and cook until fragrant, about another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes, lentils, broth and the water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered.
  5. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  6. Add the chopped greens. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until greens have wilted. 
  7. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 

NUTRITIONAL DATA:

Per serving: 355 calories, 13 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 46 grams carbohydrate, 17 grams dietary fiber, 20 grams protein

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