Lentil soup is a classic healthy recipe, but maybe not always the most exciting. So I experimented, starting with a french onion style soup base and adding some Ethiopian Berbere spiced black lentils. I was met with the most flavor-packed lentil soup I've ever had. Not only spicy, but savory from the caramelized onions and a little tangy from balsamic vinegar and lime juice.
Adjust the spice level to suit your tastes. the first time I made this my partner seemed to think 2 tablespoons of berbere was perfect, but for me my face was melting off. If you're sensitive to spices like me, I'd suggest starting with 1/2 tablespoon and tasting it before adding more.
I love to caramelize the onions slowly to really bring out the sweet flavors, but if you don't have time, just cook the onions until they are translucent and soft. With the time reduced on that step, this recipe can be prepared on a busy weeknight in just over 30 minutes. Make a large batch and keep in the fridge all week for an instant filling hearty meal.
I've been trying to include more legumes into my diet as I've been noticing lately the more I eat of them, the better I feel. Lentils are one of the most fiber and protein rich plant foods around. Fiber is incredibly important and 97 percent of americans are deficient in it. Soluble fiber in lentils can lower your cholesterol and help prevent heart disease and stroke. The insoluble fiber in lentils removes excess hormones, cholesterol, and other carcinogenic substances from our systems that can cause disease. Fiber can only be found in whole plant foods.