There is such a sense of possibility the New Year always brings. From deep within people find themselves motivated to take action as the calendar starts over anew. Personally speaking, the beginning of a new year has always been a time to allow myself enough grace to try again to achieve a goal that I previously gave up on but never entirely forgot. This is especially true when it comes to different aspects of parenting.

Already I have a long list of mental bullet points I want to tackle when it comes to mothering. From wanting to be more nurturing to making sure I make those teachable moments really count. Now that my daughters are old enough to understand the direct correlation between the decisions and choices they make and the consequences or rewards that result, a top priority for me is to make sure I explain (instead of assuming they know) to them why I feel strongly about certain things especially when it comes to what they eat.

I want them to know why some foods are good and not-so-good for them.

I’m learning to let go little by little the control I have over their food choices and instead try to share knowledge so they can take more responsibility over the foods they eat. Sometimes this means encouraging them to try a new food just because the nutritional value is worth it. For example during the last few months I have been explaining why certain foods such as fibrous whole grains, or the micronutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, are good for their growing bodies.


This week I have been discussing with my kids why I love lentils and their protein packed nutrients. Although I am convinced they aren’t really listening to me very closely, I know they must be to some degree because when I recently made lentil soup with leftover holiday ham they did not complain, hesitate, or argue with me. Instead, they complimented me on how delicious the soup was. Score one for me.

Lentils, like some beans, are a type of legume and are high in nutritional value and low in calories. A great source of protein, iron, and B vitamins, lentils also help manage blood sugar levels because of their high fiber, which can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Today I would like to share a simple and easy recipe for Lentil Soup made with lentils, broth, cumin, and finely minced ham. If feeding your family healthier meals is a goal of yours this month, this recipe will not disappoint. The simplicity of the soup itself is why I love it, and I hope you’ll love it too.

Recipe: Easy Lentil Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 40 min(s)
  • Total Time: 45 min(s)
  • Servings: 6

A healthy and heart healthy meal, this lentil soup recipe only requires 4 ingredients and is very simple to make.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lentils, picked and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely minced ham (best minced in a food processor)
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions

  1. Bring the lentils, ham, broth, and cumin to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and cover.
  3. Cook the soup on a low simmer for 40-45 minutes, occasionally stirring to make sure the lentils do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  4. The soup is ready when the lentils are soft and tender. Serve immediately.

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