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FitDay Recipe Re-Do: Lentil Soup

Fitday Editor
Lentil Soup.jpg

With winter fast approaching, soup becomes a staple meal. Some soups are extremely healthy, while others are high in sodium and fat. When I first saw this lentil soup recipe I thought "how can it be unhealthy?" Lentil soup is a great vegetarian option packed with protein and fiber. There are many versions of this soup, but I have attempted to change the recipe in order to increase its wholesome goodness.

Mediterranean Kitchen Lentil Soup (8 servings)

  • 5 cups lentils (2 one pound bags)
  • 3 qt water
  • 1 ½ large onion chopped
  • 1 cup veg oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 3 ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup lemon juice
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • Calories: 437 kcals
  • Total fat: 29.8 g
  • Sodium: 3496.9 mg
FitDay Re-do Recipe
  • 5 cups lentils (2 one pound bags)
  • 3 qt water
  • 1½ large onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp light margarine (Ex: Smart Balance light)
  • 3 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ c lemon juice
  • 2-3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • Calories: 224 kcals
  • Total fat: 5.8 g
  • Sodium: 957 mg
  • Boil lentils and 3 qts water, cook covered, medium heat
  • Cook onions in olive oil
  • Once onions are browned, add green pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add onion-green pepper mixture to soup and season with spices.
  • Add broth (chicken or vegetable) and simmer.
  • Cook garlic with light margarine and pour mixture into soup.
  • Add lemon juice and cilantro (if you like them)
Nutrition Explanations

Using low sodium broth decreases the sodium content, but also adds flavor, without adding extra fat. Light margarine has less fat and choosing margarine with no hydrogenated oils eliminates trans fats and increases unsaturated fats, which may help improve cholesterol.

Extra Note

I tried the original recipe at home and found the soup to be dry. I added water and broth later in the recipe in order to prevent the lentils from soaking up all the fluid, making the soup extremely thick. I used between 2-3 cups of broth but you may want more or less depending on flavor and texture. I also am allergic to garlic, so I used extra red onion cooked with margarine instead of garlic. My family also really liked having extra cilantro.

Rhea Li is a Registered Dietitian who received her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Texas. She has a special interest in working with children and has received her certification in pediatric weight management. Currently, she is working on a research study to determine the importance of nutrition in pediatric cancer patients. In the past, she has worked with pregnant women and their children. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family, exercising, traveling and of course, eating.

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