Cozy-Up With a Healthy Bowl

via – Jon Cebula, Personal Trainer | Team AVAC®

Benefits of Soups

photo via www.organicauthority.com
photo via http://www.organicauthority.com

Winter is here! The days are colder and shorter and that delicious salad you were eating all summer simply doesn’t cut it anymore. It is a wonderful time of year to cozy up with a nice hot and healthy bowl of delicious soup. Soup is a quick and hot meal that offers up plenty of health benefits. The healthiest soups are freshly made, include low-fat ingredients and have a minimum amount of salts and extra fats, like dairy. The American Heart Association recommends that the average adult consume eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. That is approximately 4 ½ cups. Soup is an excellent way of contributing to that daily intake. Soup is also a helpful way to stay hydrated during the winter months. Nothing beats getting your water intake with a rich delicious broth.

Below is a sample recipe for a hearty-and-healthy Lentil Soup. One of my personal favorites!

Hearty Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry Lentils
  • 8 cups Water
  • ½ cup Spinach, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add Onion, Carrots, and Celery; cook and stir until Onion is tender. Stir in Garlic, Bay Leaf, Oregano, and Basil; cook for 2-minutes.
  2. Stir in Lentils, and add Water and Tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1-hour. When ready to serve: stir in Spinach, and cook until wilted. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.
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