Here in the Poconos we are expected to be seeing our first major snow fall for the year. It is a little out of the ordinary to have such a mild season but this week they are guesstimating a foot or more of snow. With this chilly, frozen atmosphere, there is no better time to make a huge pot of soul soothing, wholesome and nourishing soup.
Italian Vegetable Soup (with Chicken & Lentils)
This hearty and cheap soup is an accumulation of odds and ends that I happened to have on hand. It is an Italian inspired soup that is loaded with nutrients and it is just perfect to freeze for later. Add zucchini, squash or any of your favorite vegetables that you have around. For a vegetarian option omit the chicken and use vegetable broth, you can even add chickpeas or navy beans for a little more bulk. For a paleo/whole30 soup leave out the lentils and be sure to check your tomato sauce for sugar!
- 1/4 Cup Butter or Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion, diced
- 1 Cup Carrots, Chopped Small-ish
- 1-2 Cups Shredded Chicken (optional)
- 1/2 Bell Pepper, Diced
- 4 Cups (1 quart) Tomato Sauce
- 1 Cup frozen spinach, chopped
- 3-4 Cups Homemade Bone Broth
- 1/2 Cup Lentils (Dry)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt
- 1-2 Teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- Fresh Cracked Pepper, crushed red pepper if desired
- Melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onions and saute’ until softened.
- Toss in the carrots, chicken, garlic and bell pepper, saute’ 2-3 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer until the carrots and lentils are thoroughly cooked.
- Simmer for an extended period for an extra thick soup. The lentils will soften and smoosh, thickening the soup. For a thinner soup add water or additional broth until it is your desired consistency.