It’s always a good day to have soup! I’m the only one in my family that really likes soup much, but I could eat some sort of soup every day regardless of the season! It’s hot here in Texas but to me, soup is always the perfect meal. It has absolutely everything for a healthy, filling meal in one bowl! This Vegan Italian Lentil Mushroom Soup with Pasta is super flavorful, easy to make and incredibly healthy. Let me break down the health benefits of a few of the main ingredients….
Lentils: they help to reduce blood cholesterol since they contain high levels of soluble fiber. Lowering your cholesterol levels reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke as they keep your arteries clean. Studies show that eating high fiber foods reduce heart disease risk. Lentils are also a good source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients in the body. Low levels of magnesium have been directly linked to heart disease. They’re also good for digestive health, they stabilize blood sugar and they’re an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. They’re a good source of iron and carry oxygen throughout your body and are important for energy production and metabolism. Lentils are low in calories and contain no fat, and they leave you feeling full and satisfied. Great for when you’re trying to lose weight! So make your body happy and eat your lentils!
Mushrooms: are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, but provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D, B vitamins and more. They’re a leading source of the essential antioxidant selenium of all produce options. They also help to strengthen the immune system. They’re great for weight loss as they are hearty, filling and satisfying. They’re low in calories considering their volume compared to high fat/calorie ground beef. And, they have the ‘umami’ flavor, it being fifth of the basic flavors/tastes. The first four being sweet. salty, sour and bitter. Umami is the fifth flavor which is translates to delicious, savory, or broth-like. You know, like the meaty flavor and mouth-feel of sautéed mushrooms or a rich stock.
Marinara/Tomato Sauce: is extremely low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s a good source of Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and an excellent source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Niacin, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Tomatoes are excellent for eye health. They’re a rich source of lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene. Their powerful antioxidants have been shown to protect eyes against damage linked to the development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Spinach: is a fantastic source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline. It’s super versatile in that it can be used in salads, smoothies, soups, egg and tofu scrambles and countless savory dishes. It’s considered one of the world’s most healthiest foods.
Just these 4 ingredients alone pack a ton of nutrition in to one delicious bowl!
‘Mise en place’ (I learned this term from my daughter who’s a sous chef 🙂 your ingredients and you’re on your way to a delicious one pot meal!
If you’d like to know how to make your own delicious, health homemade vegetable broth like I did, click here.
- ½ c brown lentils
- 2 cups water
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 2 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ cup water for sauteing veggies
- 1 tbl tomato paste (prefer DeLallo)
- 1 25oz jar marinara sauce (prefer Whole Foods 365 Organic)
- 6 cups vegetable broth (prefer homemade, recipe here)
- 8 oz Farfalle pasta, or desired pasta shape
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Bring the lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil. Cover and simmer on medium low for 25 minutes, or until soft.
- Meanwhile, add prepped veggies (except spinach) and seasoning to a large pot with ½ cup of water and saute on medium low until veggies are softened. You may need to add more water.
- Add tomato paste, the marinara sauce and broth and bring to a boil.
- Add in the pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Stir in the spinach and heat through until wilted.
- Sprinkle with crushed red pepper before serving, if desired.
If you make this recipe, be sure to take a pic, post it, and tag me on Instagram! @cherryblossomkitchen AND #cherryblossomkitchen