Prinos Farm&Deli is passionate about providing our customers with the top quality produce they need to eat well. Moreover, we want to help show you just how easy it is to cook healthy, well-balanced meals. Such as hearty soups, which are perfect for the winter months when the weather is colder. In fact, January is the perfect time of year for making healthy soups. Not only do they help to keep away the cold, but they also boost your immune system and keep us strong to fight infections during the flu season.
Indeed Cyprus has a handful of delicious traditional soups that are enjoyed across the island. However, this winter 2023 is the perfect time to branch out and try some new soup recipes! Such as this creamy Mediterranean red lentil soup. Packed full of herbs and spices, the soup is bursting with flavour. Meanwhile, the fresh carrot adds a touch of sweetness, and the crushed tomato makes for a rich and creamy sauce-like texture.
And of course let’s not forget the power of the lentil. Lentils are one of the most nutritious of the legume family. It’s also a dietary staple across the Mediterranean and the Middle East regions. Perhaps this is because the food is packed full of nutritional benefits. As well as being one of the most versatile, inexpensive, filling and easy foods to prepare!
But first let’s talk about the health benefits of lentils. Not only are lentils a rich source of B Vitamins, but they are also filled with nutrients such as iron, folate magnesium, zinc and potassium. They are also an excellent plant-based source of protein. Which in turn makes them a great meat alternative for vegans and vegetarians. And as if that wasn’t enough, lentils are also full of fibre, meaning they are great for the gut and digestive system.
Finally, lentils are also rich in beneficial disease fighting phytochemical plant compounds. These compounds not only have potent antioxidant properties, but they are also anti-inflammatory. So, they can kill free radicals, fight disease, and also improve blood sugar levels.
The list of health benefits goes on and on. But lentils also have convenience benefits too! They don’t need soaking before cooking. Which means, they are a quick and easy ingredient to add to your weekly meal plan. And red lentils are one of the easiest and fastest to cook. Which is part of the reason why we love this recipe so much. In fact, you’ll have dinner ready in under 30 minutes.
And the convenience doesn’t stop there. In fact, this dish is great because you can have it for dinner and then store it in the fridge for up to five days. So it can also make a great lunch during the week. Or easy dinner if you don’t feel like cooking again. Store a serving in the freezer for an easy healthy meal anytime.
So now let’s get on to the recipe itself. All of which can be made using the premium ingredients available from the shelves of our favourite food shop in Cyprus.
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots
- 3 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp rosemary
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 can crushed tomato
- 7 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups red lentils
- Sea salt
- Olive oil
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of two lemons
- Fresh parsley
- Feta (optional)
- Begin by preparing your vegetables. Finely chop the carrots into small pieces, dice the onion and crush the garlic cloves.
- Next lightly heat a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan and add the vegetables. Cook over a medium heat for around three to four minutes, before adding the spices and bay leaves. Mix well for a few seconds to ensure the spices don’t burn.
- Now stir in the lentils and stir quickly for a few seconds to coat with the seasoning before adding in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth.
- Season with salt and allow the whole pot to come to a boil before lowering the heat and letting your soup simmer for around 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are nicely softened and creamy.
- Turn of the heat completely, then let the soup sit for around 15 minutes while all the flavours really get to know each other.
- If you like your soup extra creamy, use an immersion blender for a few seconds to puree until the consistency is to your liking.
- Finally add in the lemon zest and lemon juice and stir well before garnishing with feta, fresh parsley and extra olive oil.
- Serve up alongside your favourite bread from Prinos Farm&Deli’s bakery and enjoy!
There is still plenty of winter left to make this soup and enjoy the comforting warmth of its flavours, creaminess and nutrients. Just grab the ingredients from our shops in Larnaca or Nicosia. Or order online using our quick and convenient e-shop, and receive everything you need straight to your home. We hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to share your results on social media!