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Lentil Minestrone

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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 8 cups

Lentils add a hearty note to a minestrone soup made with zucchini and kale. A combination of both dried and canned tomatoes gives the broth complex tomato flavor without any additional salt or spices. Quinoa is recommended as a gluten-free alternative to pasta. For extra oomph, swirl some Basil Pesto into each bowl at the table.

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • ¾ cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 carrot, chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (½ cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped (1¼ cups)
  • 4 ounces uncooked whole-grain elbow macaroni or quinoa
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), thinly sliced
  • 4 cups torn fresh kale
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a 4-quart Dutch oven or soup pot, combine the onion, lentils, carrot, celery, garlic, stock, basil, and oregano. Add 1½ cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Stir in the zucchini, macaroni (or quinoa), and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the kale, crushed tomatoes, and salt. Simmer, uncovered, until the macaroni (or quinoa) is cooked, checking package instructions for cook time.

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about the author

Carla Christian

Carla Christian, RD, LD, received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from The University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Photo by Jason Donnelly

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