Tomato Lentil Soup

Tomato Lentil Soup

It's January, which means it's usually time when I officially get back on track after the holiday season (which starts usually December 1st and involves a month of various fetes, food and fun.  Time to pay the piper.

I am trying to create some recipes that are under 250 calories for the days of the week we are doing a light fast (600 calories for the day).  I have based the calorie counts on details on the packages of items themselves, and when that is not possible, I have an app that counts calories.  (I use LoseIt)

Here is a soup I made yesterday, for lunch this week.  I punched up the flavour by using fresh ground whole spices and used beef broth instead of chicken.  If you're not adding fat to the recipe, you need to compensate somehow or it is going to be bland.  And let's face it, I am already on calorie restriction, and am prone to get hangry, so why would I want to torture myself with bland food?  This recipe will make 24 oz of soup.  I divided this recipe into three 8oz portions.  

Calories per 8oz serving 150 calories
Yield 24 oz of soup (450 calories for entire recipe)

1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 c red lentils
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups of beef broth
Vegetable cooking spray (2 second spray)

-Heat a medium sized pot over medium high heat.
-When pot is hot, spray with vegetable cooking spray.
-Saute the onions for about 1 minute.
-Add tomatoes, fennel and cumin then lower heat to medium and cook them for 15 minutes, occasionally stirring (note 1)
-Stir in lentils then add the broth (you can substitute vegetable or chicken stock or water then adjust the calories accordingly).
-Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on (note 2)
-Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings

Note 1:  cooking the tomatoes this long will develop flavour, don't rush it. If you find it sticking, add a splash of water.
Note 2:  lid on so as not to evaporate too much of the liquid.  If your simmer is faster than mine was, add a bit of water to get the consistency you want.

Bon appetit!

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