I have a dollar bag of saffron that I picked up on a whim at The Spice Corner in Philadelphia's Italian Market. I tried a pinch in some recipe or another, but really couldn't taste the saffron. So I was intrigued by Heidi Swanson's Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup recipe. It seems so plain, so unseasoned, except for a dollop of saffron-infused yogurt. I usually season lentil soup with hambone, celery, carrot, caraway, and cloves.
She suggests 6 to 8 servings from this soup. Six servings gives 288 calories (30 from fat) and 25g net carbs. You also get a total of 1 cup vegetable (onions, greens, and tomatoes) and 21g of protein, which is what you'd get in about 3.3 oz (uncooked weight) lean meat. Add a slice of whole grain bread to round things out and a couple more servings of vegetables, and it's a full meal. And it will fill you up. Depending on how much liquid you cook off, the serving size will be about 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups.
If you split the pot 10 ways, you'll get 173 calories (18 from fat), 15g net carbs, and 13g of protein, equivalent to about 2 oz (uncooked weight) lean meat, and about .6 cup of vegetables, from approximately 1 cup of soup, which is still nearly a main-dish sized portion.
Here's my version of Heidi Swanson's lentil soup, using diced tomatoes instead of crushed (which, in the US, is a puree).
Recipe By: http://HeidiSwanson.com
Serving Size: 12
Main Ingredient: Beans
Categories: Vegetarian, Meatless, Soup
-= Ingredients =-
2 cups Lentils ; (Black Beluga or green French), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion ; chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
28 ounces Low-salt diced tomatoes
2 cup water
3 cups Chard ; or other leafy green (kale,etc.) rinsed well, deveined, finely chopped
~~ Saffron Yogurt ~~
1 pinch Saffron ; 30-40 threads
1 tablespoon water ; boiling
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Plain low-fat yogurt ; Greek, if possible
-= Instructions =-
Add the lentils to 6 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.
Combine saffron with 1 tablespoon boiling water, soak for a few minutes, add a pinch of salt, and stir into the yogurt.
In a heavy soup pot, then saute onion in oil with salt until tender. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, and 2 cups water and heat to a simmer. Add the chopped greens and cook briefly.
Serve with saffron yogurt.
Heidi Swanson suggests: garnishing with crunchy fried shallots, pan-fried butternut squash, a poached egg or cooked whole grains; substituing chive-infused cream for the saffron yogurt; adding seasonings such as smoked paprika, toasted cumin, or crushed dried chilis to the soup.
Based on a recipe by Heidi Swanson at http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/lively-up-yourself-lentil-soup-recipe.html
Each (1 1/2 cups; 347g) serving contains:
Cals: 288, FatCals: 30, TotFat: 3g
SatFat: 1g, PolyFat: 1g, MonoFat: 2g
Chol: 1mg, Na: 125mg, K: 1040mg
TotCarbs: 47g, Fiber: 22g, Sugars: 10g
NetCarbs: 25g, Protein: 21g
Food Group Serving(s)
DASH: Vegetables: 2.0: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.1: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish: 0.0: Seeds: 1.7: Fats: 0.5: Sweets: 0.0
USDA: Vegetables: 1.0: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.1: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish/Seeds: 3.3: Fats: 0.5: Sweets: 0.0
Each (1 cup; 208g) serving contains:
Cals: 173, FatCals: 18, TotFat: 2g
SatFat: 0g, PolyFat: 1g, MonoFat: 2g
Chol: 1mg, Na: 193mg, K: 624mg
TotCarbs: 28g, Fiber: 13g, Sugars: 6g
NetCarbs: 15g, Protein: 13g
Food Group Serving(s)
DASH: Vegetables: 1.2: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.1: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish: 0.0: Seeds: 1.0: Fats: 0.3: Sweets: 0.0
USDA: Vegetables: 0.6: Fruits/Juices: 0.0: Dairy: 0.1: Grains: 0.0: Meat/Fish/Seeds: 1.0: Fats: 0.3: Sweets: 0.0
Nutritional information in this posting calculated using bigoven. Food Group Servings calculated in EXCEL using http://www.mypyramid.gov/ and DASH diet references.