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This vegetarian lentil and brown rice stuffed pepper soup is one of those dishes that tastes amazing and is also super good for you. My whole family gobbles it down. It is one of our favorites along with this stuffed cabbage soup.
Stuffed peppers were something that I usually turned my nose to. The peppers are good, but I always eat them in cubes, slices or IN something, not as the container for everything else. I suppose there was something intimidating about an entire pepper looking at me, full of who knows what and the expectation that I had to eat everything.
So, for a long time, every time I was introduced to a stuffed pepper, I refused to eat it (or pretended to eat it by putting the food on my plate to make it look like I had eaten a lot). That is, until recently, when I was introduced to some amazing stuffed vegan peppers at a friend's house. Who would have guessed that a vegan dish is what turned me around?
It didn't seem so scary for some reason and the lentils and brown rice seemed to "go" with the pepper. He wanted to devour everything before trying a bite. (It doesn't hurt that everything he does is delicious, so I knew this would be the case as well.)
She forever changed my mind about what a stuffed pepper might be. Inspired by their amazing peppers that had lentils and brown rice, I decided to see what other variations I could make.
The soup seemed like an easy extrapolation. I love all those ingredients in other soups, why wouldn't I like them together? It turns out that my hunch was correct. This lentil and brown rice stuffed pepper soup is great on a cold night, a busy night, or any night really (or even during the day, so I don't forget the leftovers from lunch).
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I added some additional vegetables, zucchini, and spinach, but you could skip them or add whatever vegetables you like. And unsurprisingly, cheese is always a good idea! This is delicious with a little crumbled feta or goat cheese on top.
Ways to Serve Pepper Soup Stuffed with Lentils and Brown Rice
- Serve the soup in a bowl of bread; you can pre-cut it in many bakeries.
- Spoon the soup on top of vegetables for an extra nutritious meal.
- Add a polenta base coat to your bowl before adding the stuffed pepper soup.
- This soup also works great on top of red beans.
- Serve the soup directly in a large mug and go to a warm fire. Who says you have to eat soup at the table?
- Add toppings! My favorites include hot sauce or red pepper flakes, diced avocado, green onion slices, and of course cheese.
- Add protein with a little golden turkey, beef, or chicken. You can also add sliced chicken or turkey sausage. Or add a little shredded roast chicken.
Side dishes to serve with lentils and pepper soup stuffed with brown rice
This dish has it all: vegetables and grains. I do love some sides though! Try:
- A simple salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.
- Bake a quick batch of frozen muffins to save time, or make your own.
- Cookies are great, but fun cookies are better – try whole wheat, gorgonzola, breadsticks, or some other type of saline to serve alongside your soup.
- Homemade bread is a good idea basically anytime – try this easy-to-make Irish wholemeal bread that brews in just an hour.
- Baked potato chips give you that crunchy craving without all the extra calories.
- A hearty veggie side works well, too: try a little kale, butternut squash, or roasted sweet potatoes with your soup.
How is vegan stuffed pepper soup made?
Luckily, this stuffed pepper soup is already vegan! No meat or animal products are used in this dish. If you want a stronger flavor to this soup, try adding 3-4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a yeast that is not active and tastes quite cheesy or nutty, and works very well as a cheese substitute. Just a couple of tablespoons will add a nice depth of flavor to this soup.
Can I make this stuffed pepper soup in the slow cooker?
Surely you can make this soup in the slow cooker. In fact, it is very easy, and I do it quite often. I recommend that you go ahead and cook the garlic, onions, and bell peppers in a pan for about five minutes first, only to have the onions and bell peppers cook slightly. Then add them to the bottom of your slow cooker.
Then add the lentils, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, broth, and water as indicated below. Cook over low heat for about 4-5 hours or over high heat for 2-3. Wait until the last hour of cooking to add the spinach and zucchini so they don't soften too much. Follow that with the cooked brown rice and voila, dinner is served!
* *Weight Watchers Tip: For a zero point option, you can omit olive oil and cooked brown rice. It will still come out amazing!
Lentil and brown rice soup with stuffed peppers
PREPARATION TIME: 10 minutes COOKING TIME: 45 minutes TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
- 1 tablespoon. olive oil
- 1 U sweet onion, diced
- 4 U garlic cloves
- 1 U red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 U green bell pepper, cored and diced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 14 oz. fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 14 oz. canned tomato sauce
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 4 cups of spinach
- 2 U of chopped zucchini
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Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and stir.
Add lentils, diced tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, vegetable stock, and water.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add the spinach and zucchini. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Add cooked brown rice. Spice with salt and pepper.