Do you know that 2016 is the International Year of Pulses? Yes, they even have their own year.
Pulses are a category of legume and include dried beans, dried peas, chickpeas and lentils.1 Pulses make an excellent vegetarian protein, and are also a good source of fibre and iron. This meat alternative is also inexpensive, which is good news as the cost of food has been expected to rise up to 4% in 2016.2 Due to their lower water footprint than other foods, pulses are not only a more economical choice, but a more environmentally-friendly option.3 Many types of pulses are also grown in Canada. Canada represents 35% of the world trade of pulses.4
It’s easy to add more pulses to your diet. Try adding lentils or chickpeas to soups, stews or salads. Chickpeas can be roasted with a little oil and seasoning for a nice crunch. Try this easy Lentil lemon vegetable soup recipe, featuring local potatoes and carrots.
LENTIL LEMON VEGETABLE SOUP
- 1 cup (250 mL) green lentils
- 3 small onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 large carrot
- 2 ½ cups (625 mL) vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼- ½ (60-125 mL) cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on desired lemon flavour)
- ½ (2 mL) tsp rosemary
- ½ (2 mL) tsp thyme
- 3 (750 mL) cups fresh spinach, or 1 package of frozen spinach
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) of freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cover lentils in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for ten minutes.
- While lentils are cooking, chop onions, potatoes and carrots.
- Once lentils are starting to get soft, drain and set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan. Cook onions and garlic.
- To onion and garlic, add broth, lentils and all other ingredients except the lemon juice.
- Allow soup to cook for approximately 45 minutes, until carrots and potatoes are tender. Add more broth throughout cooking if needed.
- Finish soup by adding in lemon juice.
Recipe adapted from: www.pulsecanada.com/food-health/recipes/recipes?mode=details&recipe=10
1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). (2015). What are pulses? www.fao.org/pulses-2016/news/news-detail/en/c/337107/
2 The Food Institute of the University of Guelph. (2015). The Food Price Report 2016. https://www.uoguelph.ca/foodinstitute/system/files/Food%20Price%20Report%202016%20English.pdf
3 FAO. (2015). The food wastage foot print of pulses. www.fao.org/pulses-2016/news/news-detail/en/c/357534/
4 Pulse Canada. (2015). Pulse Industry. www.pulsecanada.com/pulse-industry