Lentil Soup

By Michelle Nowicki, Nutritionist

As temperatures cool, warm up with some tasty lentil soup. Lentils are a staple of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine and are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. What I love about most soups is that you can vary the ingredients and amounts to suit your own taste. This lentil soup also freezes very well.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4-6 lean sausage (optional), sliced
  • 4-6 carrots, scrubbed & sliced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced stewed tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 & ½ cup of dry lentils, rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetarian broth
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Sauté garlic and onion until soft, approximately 5-10 min.
  3. If sausage is uncooked, add to onion and garlic and sauté (if pre-cooked add later)
  4. Add carrots and celery then canned tomatoes, lentils, and broth
  5. Bring to a boil and add chili powder, mustard, curry powder, and turmeric.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for ~1 hour or until lentils soften.
  7. Add sausage now if pre-cooked, and simmer for another 10 minutes – otherwise add sausage earlier.

Serve warm sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Key Ingredient Benefits

Carrots: These versatile veggies are best known for their rich content of the nutrient, beta carotene. These delicious root vegetables are the source of additional nutrients, including a wide variety of antioxidants. Research has demonstrated that significant cardiovascular benefits and anti-cancer benefits are associated with a regular dietary intake of carrots.

Celery: This common vegetable contains vitamin C and several other active compounds that promote health. These include phthalides, which may help lower cholesterol, and coumarins, that may be function in cancer prevention.

Chicken Broth: Chicken broth has been used for treating common colds for centuries. The heat, fluid, and salt may help in the removal of pathogens. Also, the broth may contain important minerals in a form the body can absorb easily – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. The gelatin present in the broth contains amino acids to support health.

Chili Powder: Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their characteristic pungency, producing mild to intense spice when eaten. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.

Curry Powder: This mixture can have a blend of several different spices but usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper in their blends. Many of curry ingredients show potential benefits for inflammation, cardiovascular health, immunity, blood sugar regulation, and cancer prevention.

Garlic: The mighty garlic bulb can protect us in many ways. It contains sulfur compounds that may protect cells from cancer, relax blood vessels and improve cardiovascular health. Research suggests garlic may help boost our cellular antioxidant production. There is significant evidence supporting numerous health benefits from a diet rich in garlic.

Lentils: Small but nutritionally mighty members of the legume family, lentils are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they may also help manage blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein – all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils.

Brown Mustard: Brown mustard, which is generally made with ground brown mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar and spices, offers nutritional benefits not found in other condiments. Brown mustard seeds contain a compound known as isothiocyanates, which may help ward off some cancers. For instance, a recent study links the consumption of isothiocyanates in brown mustard and other foods with a reduced risk of cancer in mice.

Olive Oil: This type of oil contains numerous antioxidant polyphenols in addition to monounsaturated oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest a healthy combo of olive oil and fish oil (omega 3s) can work together in maintaining a pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance.

Onions: Onions contain a number of flavonoids, one being quercetin (found in Juvenon’s Youthful Energy). This nutrient has been demonstrated in studies to protect the liver, cool the fire of inflammation and has anti-cancer properties. Quercetin may help in weight control by reducing fat synthesis and increasing fat burning.

Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan is a good source of calcium. One ounce of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese has about the same amount of calcium as a glass of whole milk. Also, since Parmesan cheese is so flavorful and satisfying, you can substitute a few sprinkles of Parmesan for cheddar or mozzarella.

Sausage: Turkey is by far a leaner option compared to pork sausage; however, it is important to double-check nutrition fact labels. Turkey sausage provides a significant number of vitamins and minerals. Essential vitamins include vitamins A, C, E, B-6 and B-12 as well as folate, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin. Minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium are also provided in high amounts.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a treasure of riches when it comes to their antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidants, tomatoes provide lots of vitamin C and the carotenes, including beta-carotene and lycopene, which forms the red pigment in tomatoes. Additionally, they offer the mineral manganese, vitamin E and plenty of phytonutrients. Whether they are stewed, dried or fresh off the vine, tomatoes have been shown in studies to support cardiovascular system and bone health.

Turmeric: Bright yellow turmeric is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents.

Dr. Benjamin V. Treadwell is a former Harvard Medical School professor and member of Juvenon’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Michelle Nowicki has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, completed a dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and has a graduate degree from Yale University.

Michelle Nowicki has a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition, completed a dietetic internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and has a graduate degree from Yale University.