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Welcome to Salu Life!

Flavor-filled, approachable dishes aimed to keep your mind, your body and our earth, healthy. 

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Chicken Meatballs

Lentil Vegetable Soup with Chicken Meatballs

To me, this soup is a true testament as to how the gift of smell can bring you back to special moments in your life. It takes me to my mother’s kitchen – particularly around the holiday season. So with the holidays right around the corner, I thought what better time to share this recipe with you.

Because of their indefinitely long shelf life, lentils are a resourceful ingredient to always have in your pantry. That’s right – I said indefinitely. The lentils of this world will outlast both you and I, but let’s save that thought for a different day. They are great in soups and stews, mixed in salads or simply sautéed along with your favorite veggie. Lentils are low in calories, a great sense of protein and will keep you full for a long time!

For this soup, I like to use green lentils because they stay true to their texture even after they are cooked. If you haven’t caught on by now, I enjoy myself some spice – so I like to add a jalapeno (but feel free to leave out if you can’t take the heat). In this recipe, I also have included the option to throw in some delicious bite-size chicken meatballs, as they add another depth of flavor and extra bit of protein to the soup.

Top your bowl with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and some lemon zest, pour yourself a glass of red, curl up on the couch and throw on some trashy TV. I officially have just sold myself on this idea and am now cancelling all existing plans to do exactly this tonight :)

 

 

The Break Down:

(Serving Size: Approx. 6 to 8 servings)

**will need one large pot

For the Soup:

  • Green Lentils – 1.5 cups (about 1 lb.)
  • Chickpeas – 1 15.5 oz. can, drained and rinsed with cool water
  • Sweet Onion - 1 large, chopped
  • Jalapeno (optional) – 1 medium, deseeded and chopped
  • Carrot - 2 medium, finely chopped
  • Celery – 2 medium, finely chopped
  • Kale – ½ bunch, washed and chopped
  • San Marzano Tomatoes – 1 28 oz can, whole peeled
  • Low Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth – 1.5 cup
  • Garlic – 3 cloves, minced
  • Bay Leaves – 2 leaves
  • Fresh Thyme – 2 sprigs
  • Cumin – 1 tbsp
  • Onion Powder - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • EVOO – 2 tbsp
  • S&P – 1 tbsp

 

For the Chicken Meatballs (optional):

  • White Meat Ground Chicken – 1 lb.
  • Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Breadcrumbs – ¼ cup
  • Low Sodium Chicken Brother - 1 tbsp.
  • Parsley – 1/3 of a bunch, chopped
  • Egg – 1
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Sweet Paprika – 1 tsp
  • Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
  • Parmesan Cheese – ¼ cup, grated
  • EVOO – 2 tbsp
  • S&P

 

How to:

 

For the Soup: 

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour over your dry lentils. Let sit for 15 minutes

2. Add to a large pot add 2 tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat

3. Once oil has become fragrant, add to pot the base of the soup: chopped onion, celery, carrot, garlic and jalapeno (optional). Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and let these vegetables simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Watch as the vegetables slowly begin to break down and soften

4. Include the can of tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Carefully mash the whole tomatoes into chunks as they cook in the soup

5. Add the lentils that have been sitting in water, along with can of chickpeas

6. Season the pot mixture with fresh thyme, bay leaves, cumin, onion powder, turmeric and mix

7. Add to the pot the chicken or vegetable broth, along with 1 cup of water and mix

8. Raise heat to high andbring mixture to boil, then lower to simmer

9. Add kale to pot and let soup simmer uncovered for 40 minutes

10. Top with lemon zest and shaved parmesan cheese for the perfect first bite

 

For the Meatballs:

1. Mix all ingredients with the exception of olive oil in a large bowl with hands

2. Roll meat into golf-size meatballs and set side on plate

3. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and then heat 2 tbsp of EVOO over medium heat in a pan

4. Add the meatballs to the heated pan and cook about 6 minutes each side

5. Once all meatballs are cooked and achieved lightly golden brown outer layer - remove from heat

6. Add to the soup as it simmers on low heat and enjoy!

 

 

 

Tips & Tricks:

  • Boiling water and pouring over the dry lentils allows for the lentils to cook faster in the soup
  • Veggie Broth can be used in replacement of Chicken Broth if omitting meatballs and keeping vegetarian. Otherwise, I like to use Low Sodium Chicken Broth as it adds more flavor

 

 

 

 

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