Oriental lentil broth

This soup is so simple yet tastes delicious so give it a try tonight - I'm sure the family with love it! Here's some information to share with the family over dinner tonight: Did you know that a cup of lentils contains about 18g of protein and a whopping 16g of fiber. That 1 cup also provides 37 percent of the Daily Value of iron and 49 percent of the Daily Value of manganese. Manganese is an important trace mineral that's essential for growth, reproduction, brain function and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol. Additionally, the ancient Greeks used lentils in soups, salads and bread making over 10,000 years ago. Also, Catholics who could not afford to buy fish during "Lent" ate lentils. Just some interesting facts.

Oriental lentil broth
Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium size onion, peeled and chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer bark removed, tender inner stalk, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small jalapeño chili pepper, remove seeds and chop flesh
1 cup red lentils rinse and drain
4 cups low in sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon, freshly chopped mint leaves

How to make:
Place a medium size saucepan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion, celery and seasoning. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, lemongrass, spices and chili and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the lentils, stirring well to coat.
Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins or until the lentils are cooked through but still tender.
Add a little extra vegetable stock if to the soup is too thick.
Pour the soup into 4 warm bowls and scatter over the freshly chopped herbs. Serve.

Enjoy,
Chef Mark .