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Lentils for Lent

Lent is a season of 40 days (not counting Sundays), which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Thursday.

It it a period of fasting, moderation and self-discipline observed by Catholics and many Protestant denominations.

Traditionally, those who participate in Lenten observances abstain from the consumption of animal protein. Enter lentils! Because lentils are high in protein and easy to cook, they are an easy and adaptable substitute for meat.

Try this tasty soup recipe for one of your “meatless” meals. It won’t be a sacrifice!

 

Fun Facts About Lent:

  • The official color for Lent is purple
  • Lent is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for “Spring”
  • Observers of Lent generally “give up something” as a sacrifice; the most popular is chocolate
  • Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) is the party the day before Ash Wednesday where people “get fat” because they are supposed to be fasting for the next 40 days
  • Lent ends on Good Thursday, which is the commemoration of the Last Supper

 

Lentil Soup Recipe:

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups raw lentils, washed and drained
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 carton (4 cups) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cups lemon juice
  • 1/2 bag of chopped spinach
  • Suggested garnishes: yogurt, croutons, chile powder, slices of lemon

 

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil, add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and sauté for about 4 or 5 minutes until the onion softens, reducing the heat to avoid burning the garlic.
  2. Add lentils, salt (one teaspoon at a time), pepper, broth and water. Raise the heat to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and cover. Keep simmering for about 20 to 25 minutes until the soup thickens and the lentils soften.
  3. Turn off the heat and mix in the lemon juice, adding more, if desired. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Chop spinach and add to the soup.
  5. Serve and accompany with any of the suggested garnishes.
  6. The leftovers can be kept in a closed container in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. It also stays perfectly in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.