|Easy Lentil Soup|
|This soup can be made with any of three different consistencies. Try them all to see which you prefer.|
1. Place lentils, broth, carrot, garlic, onion, thyme and bay leaf in a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
2. *For a chunkier soup, add leek at this point. Simmer 20 minutes, then stir in Swiss chard and simmer 20 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, spray a medium non-stick skillet with canola oil and heat oil on medium-high heat. Add apple and sauté until golden on all sides, about 3 to 4 minutes.
4. When lentils are tender, stir in apple and remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as is for a soup with texture. For a creamy soup, purée half in a blender and combine with remaining soup. Serve garnished with crushed pretzels, if desired.
Makes 4 servings.Per serving: 238 calories, 0 g. total fat, 42 g. carbohydrate, 15 g. protein, 10 g. dietary fiber, 747 mg. sodium.