This is a very special soup. It is not only delicious but it is nutritious! Both lentils and bulgur add plant sources of protein and fiber. Bulgur is whole wheat that has been soaked and baked to speed up the cooking time. When added to this soup, it has a similar texture to the ground beef. This allows you to cut down on the amount of meat you use and yet still have the same great taste. There is no need to soak or cook either the lentils or the bulgur ahead of time.
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided 1 large onion, diced 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced 1 teaspoon minced garlic 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef 1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes 1 can (49 ounces) fat-free chicken broth 1/2 cup uncooked green lentils 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon paprika
In a large soup pot, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil. Add onion and cook until translucent. Remove from pan and set aside. Add peppers and garlic. Cook until peppers are tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Add remaining oil and mushrooms to pan.
Cook until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. Add ground beef to pan and cook until brown. Stir and crumble meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add reserved onions, peppers, and mushrooms to pot. Add all remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender and flavors have blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add additional broth if necessary to thin to desired consistency.
Note: Left-over soup will thicken after it is refrigerated. Add extra broth if needed.
Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories 230 Fat, gm. 9 Protein, gm. 14 Carbs, gm. 3 Cholesterol, mg. 25 Fiber, gm. 6.9