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Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.  All opinions are 100% my own.
Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup {#30DaysofFamilyHealth w/ @AmDiabetesBooks} |
Though it's been resistant, Autumn is starting to ease on in and claim its rightful place here in Northwestern Indiana.  Our days have been (my idea of) perfection - in the 60's, clear, sunny, and made for livin'!  I'm always the last one to hold out for pleasant nights that allow me to sleep next to an open window, but even that time has passed.  The leaves on the trees are starting to change colors, and even drop here and there.  And after a long day of outdoor romping and cheering yourself hoarse at a football game, a warm, hearty bowl of soup hits the spot like nothing else can!

So, after paging through the third and final book from the American Diabetes Association library that I will be sharing with you this month, it was no surprise that from all of the tempting dishes - I chose soup!  Hopefully you'll remember these two previous posts, in which I shared heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly recipes featured in cookbooks from the ADA's library as part of the 30 Days of Family Health initiative.  This week, I'd like to introduce you to The American Diabetes Association Vegetarian Cookbook: Satisfying, Bold, and Flavorful Recipes from the Garden by Chef Steven Petusevsky.

Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup {#30DaysofFamilyHealth w/ @AmDiabetesBooks} |
Like the other books in the ADA's library, this cookbook is perfect for pre-diabetes, diabetes, and heart health.  Chef Petusevsky kicks off the book with his "perfect pantry offerings" in Vegetarian Pantry 101.  He shares which pastas, beans and legumes, grains, and condiments/vinegars/oils that he stocks in his own pantry, as well as "ethnic" shopping and "alternative protein" recommendations.

After you've stocked your pantry, you'll move on to recipes from chapters like Soups: Both Warm and Chilled; Raw and Ready Salads; Hand to Mouth: Burgers, Patties, and Griddlecakes; and Global Dips and Whirled Peas, to name a few.  Never fear, he has also included entrees, side dishes, dressings and sauces, and (what book would be complete without) desserts!
Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup {#30DaysofFamilyHealth w/ @AmDiabetesBooks} |
The book concludes with Menu Suggestions, or Building a Meal 101, in which Chef Petusevsky gives some of his personal favorite flavor profiles and menus for you to try.  And what would one of my reviews be without naming some of my own must-try dishes from the book?  Here's where some of my bookmarks lie: Acorn Squash Stuffed w/ Apple-Almond-Cranberry Basmati Pilaf, Autumn Skillet Paella, Pan Seared Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Apples, Spice Market Grill Pan Pineapple Steaks, and a Pure Maple Glaze that WILL find its way onto some winter squash in my kitchen very soon!

But first, let's backtrack to that soup that I mentioned.  It's thick and hearty and laden with lentils and veggies, but it's the homemade herbed spaetzle (little dumpling or egg-type noodle) that made it so special, in my opinion.  If Autumn has found its way to your town, a big pot of this soup is in order.

Herbed Spaetzle & Lentil Soup
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by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 15-20 minurwa
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: simmer side soup/stew lentils herbs German

Ingredients (SOUP 6 (1-1/2 cup) servings | SPAETZLE 12 (1/2 cup) servings)
    for the soup:
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped fine
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped medium
    • 2 stalks celery, chopped medium
    • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over for small stones
    • 6 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
    • salt, to taste
    • black pepper, to taste
    • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
    • 1/2 cup spaetzle (recipe follows)
    for the herbed spaetzle:
    • 1/2 cup 2% milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 6 large eggs
    • 1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, chives)
    • salt, to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • pinch grated nutmeg

    making the soup:
    Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.

    Sauté for 2 minutes and add the lentils and stock.

    Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper and add the parsley. Add the cooked spaetzle for a heartwarming and delicious meal. Discard bay leaf.
    Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup {#30DaysofFamilyHealth w/ @AmDiabetesBooks} |
    making the spaetzle:
    In a large mixing bowl combine milk, salt, and eggs with a wire whisk. By hand or with a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour and mix it in. Mix until it is the consistency of a thick pancake batter.
    Once the flour is combined, add the oil, herbs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Allow mixture to rest for 15 minutes in the bowl.

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a colander over the pot and press the batter through the colander holes into the water; boil until they float to the top - this will only take 2-4 minutes. Immediately transfer the cooked spaetzle to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Do not overload the water; do this in batches, as necessary.

    Once they are cooled, lift out of the water and into a hot nonstick pan with a bit of vegetable or olive oil and sauté until heated through.

    Serve as a side dish, tossed with cooked vegetables, or add to soup broth or stock.

    my notes:
    This recipe makes way more spaetzle than you'll need for one recipe of the soup, but you can store the cooled, dried spaetzle in an airtight container in the fridge. Use it over the next couple of days. Personally, I love it sauteed in a pan with butter until golden and a bit crisp in spots.

    Depending on the freshness and type of lentils you are using, your cooking type could be substantially more or less.  Start checking after 25 minutes for some varieties.

    EXCHANGES/CHOICES (Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup) 2 Starch | 1 Vegetable | 1 Lean Meat | 1/2 Fat

         Calories 250 | Calories from Fat 45 | Saturated Fat 0.8 g | Trans Fat 0.0g | Cholesterol 45 mg | Sodium   150 mg | Potassium 640 g | Total Carbohydrate 39 g | Dietary Fiber 11 g | Sugars 5 g | Protein 14 g |  Phosporus 280 mg    
    Herbed Spaetzle and Lentil Soup {#30DaysofFamilyHealth w/ @AmDiabetesBooks} |
    This post is part of the 30 Days of Family Health program sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA).  The best prevention for diabetes is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, making healthy choices, and developing good habits at a young age.

    Over the month of September, Kitchen PLAY and a group of 12 bloggers (myself included) will be featuring Healthy Family Recipes that come from the ADA library of heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly cookbooks.  Be sure to check the Kitchen PLAY page weekly for new featured recipes, and head over to the full online ADA catalog and use discount code: KITCHEN2013 for 25% off all books through October 4, 2013.

    Head on over to the Kitchen PLAY Facebook page to enter the ADA #30DaysofFamilyHealth giveaway.  Five winners will receive their choice of three of the five cookbooks involved in the series plus a $50 Visa gift card.