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Recipe Spotlight

This Inexpensive Lentil Soup Is My New Year Restart

Eat well without breaking the bank.

Published Jan. 12, 2023.

When trying to integrate more nutrients into my diet, I sometimes struggle to find equally delicious and nutritious recipes.

Thankfully, working at America's Test Kitchen has expanded my knowledge of various ingredients and has boosted my confidence in cooking with them. 

I've learned that even the simplest ingredients, such as lentils, can be transformed into beautiful, flavorful meals. Our Red Lentil Soup with Warm Spices featured in The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook is the perfect example. It's my go-to for cold winter nights or when my immune system needs a boost. 

Here are a few more reasons you'll enjoy it too.

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1. It's Wallet-Friendly

You shouldn't have to spend a lot of money to eat well. This recipe uses less than one pound of lentils, which cost around $2 at my local grocery store. The other ingredients, including chicken broth, butter, and lemon juice, are items you probably already have in your pantry. You can feed 4 to 6 people for under $18. (Especially if you use chicken broth concentrate—the best bang-for-your-buck ingredient!)

2. It's Nourishing

This hearty recipe makes lentils, which are exceptionally nutritious, the star of the show. One pound of boiled lentils has around 37 grams of fiber and nearly 41 grams protein. If you want to make it more of a complete meal, it's also great over rice

400+ One-Pan Recipes

From sheet-pan suppers to Dutch-oven pastas to Instant Pot plug-and-play wonders, millions of home cooks want the ease of hands-off meals made using a single vessel.

3. It's One-Pot Perfection

I love it when a recipe doesn't require washing three skillets after dinner. One-pot meals also ensure that all the ingredients are melded together in a symphony of flavor. Our Best Buy large saucepan gets the job done.

I like to make a big batch and then store it in my freezer to pull out when my fridge feels bare (or when I don’t feel like cooking).

4. Most Importantly, It's Delicious 

Between the lentils' subtle, pleasant texture and the spices' mouthwatering aroma, this soup is frankly luxurious. It has a hint of heat from cayenne and refreshing brightness from the herbs. It's a comforting winter soup that I plan on making throughout the season. 

Watch Julia Collin Davison and Erin McMurrer make this hearty soup.

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