Soup's on!

A little chill in the air and the aches and pains from my recent plastic surgery put me in the mood for a nice bowl of soup. Prepare to do a lot of chopping but it's soooo worth it. My creation features lentils which are one of the world's healthiest foods and rich in iron which is important to replenish after surgery.

Shelly's Mexican Lentil Stew

1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Green Onions, diced
2 Leeks, chopped (white and light green parts only)
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
2 Zucchini (or Yellow Squash or combo), sliced
2 Carrots, sliced
2 Celery stalks, sliced
1 cup Green Lentils, soaked and drained
4 cups Chicken Stock
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
2 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
2 cups Baby Spinach
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
8 frozen cooked Turkey Meatballs, halved (optional)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Olive Oil

To garnish:
Cilantro springs
Cotija Cheese, crumbled
Avocado, sliced

Soak lentils in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain. Set aside. Saute Onions and Leeks in a combo of Olive Oil & Butter till golden in a large lidded stock pot. Add Zucchini and Garlic. Cook for 3 minutes. Add Carrots, Celery, Stock, Water, Lentils, Cilantro, Cumin, Salt & Pepper. Simmer on low with lid on for 30 minutes. Add Spinach, Tomato Paste and Frozen Turkey Meatballs (I nuked them for a minute or so first so I could cut them in half). Cook with lid on for 20 minutes more.

Top with sliced Avocado, Cilantro sprigs, and crumbled Cotija Cheese.

I thought I'd link you back to another recipe of mine using Cotija Cheese. I always hate to buy something for a recipe and only have one use for it.

If you are on the pureed stage and allowed veggies you could certainly whiz this stew up I'd omit the meatballs but it's definitely whizzable. I'd use this or a blender in small batches.