I've been trying to cut meat from my diet for at least one day a week. Don't get me wrong, I love me some bacon, but I know it's a little unnecessary to eat eat every day, for my diet, for sustainability, and for my budget! I made a pot of lentil soup yesterday since lentils are absolutely PACKED with nutrients, and the entire pot cost me around $5.00 since I had a lot of the ingredients in my pantry already. It'll easily serve 10, probably 12!
Simple Lentil Soup
8 cups water
2 cups green lentils
30 oz. stewed tomatoes
3 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup whole wheat penne, pre-cooked
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups spinach, chopped
3 tbsps olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tbsps oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1 bay leaf
3 tbsps lemon juice, plus more for serving
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Add everything but the spinach, lemon juice and pasta into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until the lentils are tender (you may need to add more water as it simmers). Take the soup off the heat and stir in the pasta, lemon juice and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with extra olive oil to drizzle on top and parmesan cheese.
The recipe is pretty standard, if you're missing some of the herbs don't sweat it. You can also sub the lemon juice for vinegar, or use veggie stock instead of water (though I don't find it necessary, it's flavorful enough without the stock). Some recipes suggest cooking the onions and garlic before adding them to the soup, but I don't find it necessary (plus I'm lazy).
Nutrition facts for this soup can be found here.