Zuppa is the Italian word for soup -- and this lentil soup has great Italian flavor!
Serves: 8 servings
- 2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
- 7 cups unsalted chicken broth or water
- 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils, cleaned
- 6 ounces ham, at least 97% lean, diced (about 1 1/8 cups)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium stalks celery, chopped (include the leaves)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated nonfat or regular
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Coat a 4-quart pot with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat over medium heat. Add the garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds, or just until the garlic begins to turn color.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the Parmesan to the pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the liquid is thick. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Transfer 2 cups of the soup-including vegetables and hot broth-to a blender, and place the lid on the blender, leaving the top slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Carefully blend at low speed until the mixture is smooth. Return the puréed soup to the pot, and stir to mix well.
- Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls, and serve hot, topping each serving with a rounded teaspoon of the Parmesan, if desired.
Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright © 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.
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