I love lentils in all their earthy humility. They’re unfancy little things, uncomplicated and straightforward. They pair beautifully with rich, robust flavors that complicate their relative simplicity.
In this cold-weather recipe that reads more like a stew than a soup, lentils pair beautifully with mushrooms, plenty of garlic, bright tomatoes, leftover turkey (or chicken) and a spoonful of smoked paprika.
Lentils are also packed with nutrition, particularly the B vitamins thiamin and folate as well as minerals like phosphorus and iron. In a letter to his nieces and nephews (an appendix in this book: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration), the nutrition pioneer Dr. Weston Price described lentil soup as one of the most valuable foods to include in the diet owing both to its relative nutrient density and its affordability.
Why Use Sprouted Lentils
Lentils, like all pulses, are a great source of minerals, but these minerals are bound by food phytate. Food phytate is an antinutrient that can prevent the full absorption of minerals. Sprouting lentils, and other pulses, deactivates food phytate and makes those minerals more bioavailable.
You can sprout them yourself, or you can save the time and trouble and buy them already sprouted. We’ve been working with TruRoots to develop this recipe and others using their organic and sustainably grown grains and pulses. You can find their Sprouted Green Lentils at most natural foods grocers and co-ops as well as online by clicking here.
Smoky Sprouted Lentil Soup with Mushrooms, Turkey and Andouille Sausage
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 ounces mushrooms sliced thin
- 2 teaspoons finely ground sea salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey preferably smoked
- 8 ounces Andouille sausage sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3/4 cup TruRoots sprouted lentils available here
- 4 13.5 ounce jars diced tomatoes
- 6 cups long-simmered chicken bone broth Recipe in this cookbook or chicken stock
- Warm the olive oil in a large stock pot or Dutch oven (this is what we use) over medium heat, and then toss in the onion, garlic, thyme and sliced mushrooms. Stir in the salt, cover the pot, and allow the onion and garlic to sweat until translucent - about 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika and continue cooking, uncovered, a further two minutes.
- Stir in the turkey sausage and lentils. Pour in the broth and tomatoes, and simmer, covered, until the lentils soften and become tender - about twenty-five minutes.