In Italy, and other parts of the globe, eating lentils at the start of the New Year for good luck is a tradition the dates back to the ancient Romans. It is believed that lentils, which resemble coins, bring prosperity, safety, and good fortune in the coming year. Maybe the good fortune is not because of the lentil’s appearance, but more so a result of the many health benefits of lentils. Lentils are high in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iron and contain Vitamin A and B complex vitamins. Following after soybeans and hemp, lentils are third on the list of plant-based foods containing the most protein by weight. So, as the superstition goes, if we eat lentils at the start of the New Year, we will be better off than last year.
If nothing else, we will at least be healthier.
Eat your lentils and good luck to you!
Tomato Lentil Soup
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 2 cups organic vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
- 1 swish extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, diced and/or 2 large leeks, white part chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 2 organic red peppers, diced
- 1 (19 oz can) organic diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 T fine herbs (combination of basil, thyme, rosemary, dill weed, savory, marjoram, and parsley)
- 2 t garlic powder
- 2 t black ground pepper
Wash and drain lentils.
Cook lentils, water and vegetable stock in a soup pot by bringing liquid to boil, reducing heat, covering, and simmering for about 45 minutes (or cook in a pressure cooker for about 5 minutes at a peak pressure).
In a cast iron skillet, sauté garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and red peppers until tender.
Add sautéed vegetables to cooked lentils along with diced tomatoes, bay leaf, fine herbs, garlic powder and pepper.
Serve hot with dried parsley as garnish.
Enjoy and good luck!
Created by Kristin Meier