In my last post, I promised to share one of my favorite recipes using fresh basil.
Homemade Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 28oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
- 1 package lentils, rinsed, drained and sorted
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 6 cups water
Saute chopped onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms in olive oil until onions are clear. Add garlic and stir for just a few minutes, taking care not to let garlic burn. Add tomatoes, thyme, lentils, salt and pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 35 minutes. Add basil and continue cooking for about 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. You may need to add additional water during cooking, as the lentils will soak up a lot of the liquid. I like mine rather thick, but you can make it thinner if you like.
This is a very hearty soup that I could eat every day. I have called for one bunch of basil in the recipe, but I really like to use more if I have it (because I really like basil). When I have my own, home grown basil, I will use a good, big handful. When I have to buy it, I use one package from the grocery store.
Last weekend I made a delicious meat loaf with ground turkey and pork, and added dried basil. It was really good, but I want to tweak the recipe a bit, and try it with fresh basil, before I share it. DH (dear husband) doesn’t seem to mind being a guinea pig, so maybe it won’t be long before it is perfected.
There really are a lot of wonderful herbs and spices out there, so don’t be afraid to try some of them.
What is one of your favorite foods that you would like to see made healthier?