Wish Upon A Dish: Semi-Homemade Lentil Noodle Soup

January 12, 2015

Semi-Homemade Lentil Noodle Soup

"Soup is Good Food!!"

This is a healthy soup with a secret.
What's the secret? I used a canned soup as the thickener and the base. I bought a good quality 'lite' vegetarian lentil soup, pureed the whole can and into a stockpot with two cans of water (about 30 oz. total).

The additions were 1/4 cup French Puy lentils, one carrot sliced into half moons, Italian sausage, onions, Swiss chard and broken whole wheat spaghetti. This was surprisingly good. How did I know?

I got a "wow, this is good" after his first spoonful.

I am always amazed that he is surprised that my soup is good, so I asked him why so surprised?
He thought that lentil soup would be boring but was surprised mine was really tasty and good.

It was good, even the second and third time I ate this for lunch.
Homemade taste in under thirty minutes. I will take that every Monday after a long weekend of cooking and a day that is spewing frozen rain.
It's always a good thing when one can stretch a Can-Can sale soup into 6 servings. It's even better when it totally fits into my new Weight Loss Challenge.

Semi-Homemade Lentil Noodle Soup
makes 8 cups (1 1/3 cup serving)

* 1 (15oz) can Vegetarian Lentil Soup
* 30 ounces of water
* 1 salt free chicken bouillon cube
* 2 Spicy Italian turkey sausages, cut into bite-sized cubes
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into half moons
* 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
* 1 large garlic clove, grated
* 2 cup chopped greens (chard, spinach, mustard, kale, collards)
* 1/4 cup French Puy lentils (or your favorite)
* 1 cup broken whole wheat thin spaghetti
* salt & pepper to taste
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional) or grated right before serving

1. Open the can of soup into a blender, and puree.
2. Heat a stockpot and melt the butter. Add the onions & carrots and cover, cook on medium for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the garlic and stir.
4. Add the sausages, greens, lentils, bay leaves and stir to combine.
5. Add the pureed soup and water, using the can to measure, then the bouillon and the cheese rind. Stir to combine.
6. On a high simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes, and cook until the lentils are soft. Add the spaghetti and cook another 5-6 minutes.
7. Taste for seasoning, remove the bay leaves and the rind and serve.

Cook's hints: Using the rind for a deep cheese flavor (Umami) cuts the fat in the soup to a minimum. If I can find the rinds sold in plastic salad containers, I am sure you can also.
If you prefer a thinner soup, cook the pasta separately in a pot of salted water.
Why add the whole lentils? Full of fiber!

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