Vegetable Soup with Kale and Lentils

2 tablespoons oil, such as canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 medium carrot, sliced 1/8 inch thick

2 teaspoons minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

4 cups water

1 cup dry yellow, red or brown lentils

1 (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon dried basil or Italian seasoning

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-sodium added diced tomatoes (or 2 chopped tomatoes)

1 bunch kale (about 7 ounces) – or substitute spinach

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional add-in (2 cups chopped chicken or turkey)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and garlic. Cook five minutes. Add water to the pot and heat to boiling. Rinse lentils in colander with water. Add lentils to pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Do not drain. Add chicken or vegetable broth, seasoning and tomatoes. Cover and cook for five to 10 minutes. Rinse kale leaves (or spinach), cut out the stems as needed and discard. Cut leaves into one-inch pieces. Stir kale (or spinach), salt and pepper into the lentil mixture. Return to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for three minutes.

Makes six servings (1 1/2 cups per serving). Each serving has 200 calories, 5 grams (g) fat, 11 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 12 g fiber and 170 milligrams sodium.

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