Curried Lentil and Spinach Soup

lentilsouop

Lentils are an excellent source of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein with virtually no fat. The high folate content in lentils helps to lower the amino acid homocysteine, which is known to cause damage to artery walls and is considered a serious risk factor for heart disease.

Lentils are also rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble type. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.

Ingredients

1/2 Tbls water
1 1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 Cup chopped celery
1 Cup chopped peeled carrots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbls curry powder (preferably Madras-style)
1 Tbls minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
9 1/2 Cup (or more) water
1 -16 Oz bag dried lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)
1- 6 Oz bag baby spinach leaves
1/2 Cup plain soy yogurt

Instructions

Heat water in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add next 4 ingredients; saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in curry powder, ginger, cumin, bay leaf, and dried crushed red pepper. Add 9 1/2 cups water and dried lentils; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, adding more water by 1/2 cupfuls to thin soup, if desired, about 25 minutes. Add spinach; simmer until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season soup with pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill soup uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm soup over medium heat, thinning with water if desired before serving.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with spoonful of yogurt.

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