Monday, November 10, 2014

Green Pepper Lentil Soup

Hi there!  Hope you all had a great weekend.  I was out of town once again, this time in Dallas to cheer on Jay's volleyball team in the conference finals.  My mom and I drove down directly from work on Friday and had a great time hanging out in the area and supporting the Cyclones.  Jay's team made it all the way to the championship match and played so well against a much bigger school - it was incredibly exciting to watch!  
After getting home late Saturday night, Jay and I hosted a casual birthday brunch for his grandpa yesterday morning.  By the time dinner rolled around, we were both pretty exhausted and not in the mood for any heavy duty cooking.  I figured it would be the perfect night for a big, easy pot of soup, especially with frigid winter temperatures right around the corner.  

We had a surplus of green peppers, so I used them along with other ingredients I had on hand to put together a soup version of lentil stuffed (or in this case un-stuffed) green peppers.  It only took about 10 minutes to throw together, and it was delicious and and filling.  The rice and lentils provide complete protein and lots of bulk.  I actually had to return some of my second helping back to the pot because my eyes were so much bigger than my stomach (a rare occurrence around here).  I can't wait to take the leftovers to work this week to keep me warm through the polar vortex.   
Green Pepper Lentil Soup
(Inspired by a recipe originally spotted on Clean Eating Chelsey)
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

1 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 1/2 green peppers, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Saute your red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, and green pepper for about five minutes (until soft).  Add your diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, brown rice, lentils, and additional spices.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you like your soup spicy, top with a squeeze of Sriracha before enjoying.

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