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Lentil Soup from Cooking Light

slycat's picture

I made this for dinner last night and it was very good. A great way to start making those better choices. It was even better for lunch today.


Cathy


 


Lentil Soup with Balsamic-Roasted Winter Vegetables


 

View Cooking Light Menu
The flavor of this dish improves on the second day, so it's ideal to make in advance. Add the chard just before serving to preserve its color. Stir in a little water when you reheat the soup if it's too thick.

1 2/3 cups cubed peeled sweet potato, (about 8 ounces)
1 2/3 cups cubed peeled parsnip (about 8 ounces)
1 2/3 cups cubed peeled carrot (about 8 ounces)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (4 ounces) chopped pancetta
1 cup chopped shallots (about 6 large)
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 cups dried lentils
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
8 cups Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped (about 9 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine sweet potato, parsnip, carrot, 2 tablespoons vinegar, oil, and salt in a large bowl; toss well. Arrange vegetable mixture in a single layer on a large foil-lined jelly-roll pan; bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Cook pancetta in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; set aside. Add shallots and onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown. Add remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, thyme, garlic, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Add wine, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add pancetta, lentils, and 4 cups broth to pan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups broth and roasted vegetables to pan, and simmer 15 minutes, uncovered. Add chard, and cook 2 minutes or until wilted.



Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 373(28% from fat); FAT 11.7g (sat 3.5g,mono 6.4g,poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 18.8g; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 118mg; SODIUM 875mg; FIBER 15.3g; IRON 6.4mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51g


Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #1 of 29)

Too much sat fat. Probably would be just as good without the pancetta.

ashleyd's picture

(post #57117, reply #2 of 29)

Probably would be just as good without the pancetta


Or possibly not.



Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #4 of 29)

IF there was a taste test, probably with Pancetta would fare slightly better. But if one tasted it without pancetta and never had tasted it with pancetta, probably the flavor wouldnt be missed. Or, as you say, maybe it would be.


I ordered cooking light a few years back and was disappointed. Because of The title, Cooking Light, I foolishly  thought it would actually be "light". But, while some recipes were "light", many included non-light ingredients such as the pancetta, creams etc.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57117, reply #5 of 29)

I won't defend Cooking Light per se--I think it has interesting recipes, but not always "light", as you say.
BUT there are so many ways to get around cream and fat, I like to read recipes from everywhere, and then adapt, if I must.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #6 of 29)

I'm with you on that. This week, I'm reading the Dean Ornish book. And, while most of his recipes don't appeal that much, I am getting some good tips on substituting and how to get around not being able to use much fat or oil in the diet. For example, I was able to make a great Deborah Madison (is that her name, the vegetarian genius?) soup, but used Ornish's tip on how to eliminate even EVOO in order to cook. The soup came out delicious.


Edited 2/24/2008 2:47 pm ET by Florida2

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #7 of 29)

I guess I don't get why someone would want to omit all fat, even healthy fats from every recipe.


Why not eat more moderate portions of higher fat dishes?


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #11 of 29)

Saturated fats has been implicated in a trigger for MS attacks, thus the reason to lower it. I look upon butter and cream as "poison" because of that.


Last week DH was told to lower cholesterol, so we are also trying to cook with minimal sat fats and no more than 25g fats total daily, a la Dean Ornish's recommendations in his books.


But after a month, if his cholesterol is down, I'm going to reintroduce EVOO and canola oil in modest amounts and see if it jacks up the cholesterol. While Some of ornish's recipes are okay, they do leave alot to be desired. And he is high on the carbs and not enough protein, in my opinion.


 


Re Cooking Light, I think an accurate title might be "Cooking a little bit lighter". I dont see how it can be "Light" with all the butter and cream and fatty meats etc.


Edited 2/26/2008 7:52 pm ET by Florida2


Edited 2/26/2008 7:53 pm ET by Florida2

TracyK's picture

(post #57117, reply #12 of 29)

You're comparing apples to elephants... your situation is totally different than the average person.


You can't possibly expect a mainstream cooking magazine to cater to a small population of folks like yourself, who consider perfectly normal (and in moderate amounts, perfectly healthy) ingredients "poison," and whose diets, due to medical requirements, have such extremes regarding fat content.


Compared to the fat and calories in most recipes in "regular" cooking mags, Cooking Light recipes are WAAAAAAY lower. And frankly, it's FAR easier to modify the CL recipes to suit your medical needs than it would be to modify FC recipes.


One more thing: EVOO and canola oil contain no cholesterol, so it is extremely unlikely that removing or adding them will have any effect whatsoever on your husband's blood cholesterol.


 


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #21 of 29)

Its not the cholesterol in food that creates high cholesterol, per se. Its the amount of fat, especially sat fat, in the diet that causes the body to create excess cholesterol.


Another viewpoint is that it is the imbalance between carbs and protein that creates the cholesterol (see the zone diet)-- that diets too heavy in carbs and too light in protein cause the release of excess insulin and cholesterol in the body.


So, I'm doing a combo diet for DH of lowering fat to less than or equal to 25G per day, and keeping protein and carb balance to 5G Carb to 3 to 4G protein. If it works, its better than going on those dangerous Statin drugs, imo.

Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #22 of 29)

I  feel I can expect a mainstream publication to be truly "light" if they call themselves Cooking Light.


Its a matter of fact that cardiac patients are told to be on a diet that is virtually identical to my MS diet. So, its not just the few people (400,000) with MS, but the millions of cardiac patients that benefit from these fat restricted diets.


If they call it Cooking Light, I thought it truly would be "light"! So, I ws disappointed. Tht does nto mean, however, that it isnt a great magazine for many other folks. But dont kid yourself, these recipes, while they might be lighter than Paula Deen's, are not at all light, for the most part.


In my opinion, also, it takes a cooking pro to come up with a delicious recipe that has no butter, no cream, no at fat  (and very little unsat fat) in it. I found a few recipes here and there, but not many. The standby is to add butter and voila--flavor! In the meantime, America is overweight and obesity will be the next crisis in America.


 


Edited 2/27/2008 6:47 pm ET by Florida2

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #23 of 29)

I think there are many more causes of America's obesity problem than homemade, from scratch meals (as represented by Cooking Light or other such magazines) eaten in reasonable portions.


Like complete lack of exercise. Like highly processed fatty fast food in supersized portions. Like highly processed, sugary cereals and salty fatty snacks. Like gallons of soda.


My younger brother is 43 and has become overweight, bordering on obese. His doctor told him the single most significant thing he can do to improve his heath is to EAT LESS FOOD. He didn't tell him to cut out anything, just consume less of everything.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

TracyK's picture

(post #57117, reply #24 of 29)

Mainstream magazines like CL are OBVIOUSLY not targeted to cardiac patients or people with MS, nor should they be.


Just because the recipes don't fall under YOUR particular definition of light doesn't mean they are not, in fact, light. They are. It's not a matter of opinion. Any of those recipes could easily be part of a healthy diet for a normal person.


And I assure you I am not "kidding myself." I've lost nearly 40 pounds, and I use recipes from CL (and even Fine Cooking, with some adjustment) quite often. My cholesterol level (116 the last time I had it tested) doesn't even register on the chart.  


And I second RisottoGirl... perfectly natural ingredients like butter and cream are not responsible for the so-called obesity epidemic in this country. Making fat the villain is picking an easy and incorrect target.


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Gretchen's picture

(post #57117, reply #25 of 29)

I am sorry, but you need to get off your soap box. YOU have a specific diet which you are following come H   L or high water. Even if it does or doesn't help your specific medical need. I sincerely hope it does, but you may or may not have ANY evidence that it does.
I mean NO disrespect. But you have consistently basically disrespected everyone by saying that its your way or the highway.


The rest of us can go on our way and adapt our recipes as we want.
There might even be a couple of us here that need the extra weight and can make all the full fat recipes we can find. Oh be still my heart if that was EVER my situation!!


 


Gretchen
Gretchen
Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #26 of 29)

Ouch....

slycat's picture

(post #57117, reply #27 of 29)

I too take CL, have for years, and I read for the health and exercise info as much as the recipes. I have found that, especially in the last couple of years, they have quit using non-fat ingredients  and have started to add back some of the "real" thing, such as cream and butter. I too find one of two things to try each issue and for $12 a year it is worth my money. Also I think for beginning cooks, who are trying to learn how to cut some of the fat in recipes it is a good place to start.


Everyone has his or her ideas about what works and what does not. When someone has a serious health problem they will often try anything in their power to keep that health problem at bay.


Five years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The first one in my family to ever have cancer and I had no risk factors other than possibly my weight, (+260 at the time). My doc told me there was some evidence that excess weight could be a factor. Guess what? I dropped 100 pounds, I am at the gym five times a week now and I watch what I eat. There is no guarantee that it won't come back or spread. But if watching my weight can help in any way I am going to do it. I have found many times people do what ever they can to make a difference. And sometimes they get on soap boxes and other just need to understand.


 


 


 

grog's picture

(post #57117, reply #28 of 29)

Congratulations on getting your cancer under control and also losing the weight. I agree with your post, you show a lot of empathy.

I like the way Risottogirl and TracyK eat, but I do not have the discipline to cook that way. I've had a good understanding of nutrition since the early 70's but to put it into practice is very difficult.

I can remember when I got my first issue of Fine Cooking ( #11 )I never thought that I would be able to cook that way, I would just ogle the pictures and dream of eating the food. Cut up a whole chicken ? OMG I'll poison my family! But I like learning new skills so with the help of CT I've become a pretty good cook, but I still can't cook like RG or TK.(can't type anywhere near as good as them either :)).

The things I like best about cooking light are the exercise articles and the profiles of the chefs, the one on Rick Bayless being my favorite.

grog

Florida2's picture

(post #57117, reply #29 of 29)

Wow, slycat. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I cant help but have respect for the way you took your health by the horns and made such changes in your wellness. I pray that the changes will also help keep the breast cancer away. I have a friend who weights close to 300 lbs and just diagnosed with breast cancer. I think I'll give her your post--it is inspiring.


Thank yu too for your support. I don't really know the folks here. For all I know, we are all suffering from a major illness, not just you and me. But if one has not had to deal with a scary life altering illness day in and day out, one might not know that feeling of vulnerability and so forth.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #13 of 29)

I think an accurate title might be "Cooking a little bit lighter".


Giggle. I like that!


I almost never use the amounts of cream or butter that are called for in many recipes. Although it is no lower in sat fat or calories, I do find in using creme fraiche rather than regular heavy cream to finish soups and sauces, that I use a lot less.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

TracyK's picture

(post #57117, reply #14 of 29)

CL made a conscious decision a couple years ago to stop using so many reduced-fat or fat-free ingredients, since they don't usually taste good and they're chock full of chemicals or added sugar to make up for the lack of flavor.


I don't think I've ever seen a recipe from Cooking Light that called for more than a couple Tbsp of butter or cream. 


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #15 of 29)

Yup,  I agree, as I said earlier in this thread :)


Of course it will never be "light" enough for some, especially those on strict medically prescribed diets requiring total avoidance of certain things. Those people are in some cases, better served by specialty cookbooks and recipes.


There are some recipes that can easily and without much flavor/texture sacrifice, be made lighter and others that, well, just can't - that is when you just need to consider choosing something else altogether.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Adele's picture

(post #57117, reply #16 of 29)

especially those on strict medically prescribed diets requiring total avoidance of certain things


It could also be suggested that those on medical, actual doctor prescribed diets, consult the doctor or his office as to what is or is not allowed for substitutions.


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

soupereasy's picture

(post #57117, reply #17 of 29)

The reason I gave up CL years ago, food didn't taste good. (Actually was pretty bloody awful in some cases!)


They do have some nice ideas which can be adapted, though not to a no-fat diet. Low yes. No, forget it.

TracyK's picture

(post #57117, reply #18 of 29)

I can't say I get more than a couple keeper recipes out of each issue, but I think the quality has improved drastically since they mostly cut out the fat-free and reduced-fat stuff.


And for $12/year, I think the few recipes I get are worth it, as are the fitness articles.


CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #19 of 29)

I definitely don't subscribe, but I buy it occasionally at the newsstand as I do with Eating Well. When I stop and think about it, I actually tend to try more recipes from EW than CL.


I don't think I remember too well when CL used a lot of ff or fake stuff, I must not have been buying it then.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Jean's picture

(post #57117, reply #20 of 29)

I just got my last copy of EW before my subscription expires. I haven't tried a recipe yet, so will not renew. I can't even keep up with FC to tell the truth. We're eating less so we find ourselves finishing up leftovers more often than not. I still have a tendency to cook for the family that has long since scattered.



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Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #8 of 29)

I think Cooking Light does a pretty good job of publishing recipes that are lower (not lowest or completely devoid of) fat, without resorting to a lot of processed or fake "fat free" chemical foods.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

ashleyd's picture

(post #57117, reply #9 of 29)

Much the philosophy of "A New Way To Cook" by Sally Schneider, if sensible and tasty subs are available then use them, if not use the "hi fat" stuff, just eat less.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #57117, reply #10 of 29)

I agree that is the way to go, in many cases, you don't need as much of something (bacon, butter, cream) as the recipe asks for.


I know that I cut back the sugar in some things because I just have no sweet tooth at all.


What I don't get is the attempt (not so much here at CT) to make everything fat free. Fat carries flavor, it adds mouthfeel and texture and some fats are good for you...in moderation.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Gretchen's picture

(post #57117, reply #3 of 29)

Everything is relative. Maybe a comment about how good the recipe sounds and that you might need to alter the pancetta would be more inclusive.  Maybe you can find some turkey bacon to give it more flavor of the pancetta.

Gretchen

Gretchen