Chickpeas and lentils both belong to the legume family. Eating legumes has been associated with many health benefits including a longer lifespan. They are a staple of “Blue Zones” around the wold. (regions famous for their long living populations). They are also a great source of plant based protein. A little over 20% of the calories in chickpeas come from protein and around 30% of the calories from red lentils are in the form of protein. They are also both great sources of fibre, complex carbohydrate and multiple vitamins and minerals.
A versatile lentil soup recipe
Another fabulous thing about this soup is how versatile it is. This version has a dose of daily greens in the form of spinach but it will also work well with some kale or other greens. You can also mix up the beans as you like and go with other beans such as black beans or pinto beans instead of chickpeas. I recently made it and added some sweetcorn and a bell pepper and it was even better, so you can throw in extra veg as you see fit.
The mix of herbs and spices create a lovely satisfying overall flavour. You can also experiment with some oregano or an Italian herb mix in place of thyme if you wish to change it up a bit.
Personally I think a little spice really finishes it off the chickpea and red lentil soup. You can add some chopped fresh chili, or a little chili powder/cayenne pepper if that’s also your preference.
For other ideas for similar recipes this lentil soup recipe on the cookieandkate website made with green lentils is also worth a try.
I prefer and recommend using a low salt stock cube when making the vegetable stock. Many tend to be high in salt content. You can also use water instead and add a little salt at the end to taste, if you prefer to keep salt intake low.
A relatively low calorie and satisfying meal
This chickpea and red lentil soup is also low in fat and low in calories so is a great choice for a satisfying meal that can fill you up without overdoing it on the calories. For another soup recipe that is satisfying and relatively low in calories you can also try my leek and potato soup recipe.
Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 100 g dried red lentils
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 large onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 bunch chopped coriander
- 100 g spinach
- chili fresh/ground optional
- Make up 800 ml of vegetable stock with boiling water
- Add the chopped onion to a pot with a splash of the stock. Cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute or two
- Add the thyme, cumin and bay leaves
- Add the dried lentils, chopped tomatoes, and chickpeas
- Bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes
- Add the spinach and chopped coriander and cook for another 5 minutes until the leaves are fully wilted
- Serve with some black pepper and chopped chili/ground chili (optional)