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Curried Lentil Soup
I love hearty, warming soups in the winter with basic ingredients that are rich in nutrients and this lentil soup absolutely fits that criteria.
Did you know lentils are a plant-based source of iron that are also high in protein and fiber (also very cost effective!)? The iron in plant-based sources is a bit more difficult for the body to absorb than animal-based sources. Citrus and fresh herbs contain Vitamin C, which increase the absorbability of plant-based iron.
When doing high-heat styles of cooking such as sautéing or roasting, I recommend using high-heat cooking oils like avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee. What does that mean? Cooking oils have a smoke point, which is the temperature at which the oil starts to burn. When oils burn, their composition changes and they can have a negative, inflammatory effect on the body. For example, extra virgin olive oil is considered to be anti-inflammatory in its raw form (cold), but if heated past its smoke point (375), it can contribute to inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root of many of our skin and health concerns. This doesn’t mean you should never heat olive oil, but it’s something to keep in mind!
Herbs and spices like those found in curry powder, turmeric, cilantro, and parsley are rich in antioxidants and compounds that support immunity, regulate inflammation, and support detoxification.
- Avocado oil, coconut oil, or ghee (a high-heat cooking oil)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1.5 tsp curry powder
- 5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup yellow lentils
- 1 cup red lentils
- 8 cups liquid (broth of choice and water)
- Cilantro and flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Lemon or lime (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add about 1 tablespoon of your chosen cooking oil, the onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook until softened.
- Add the bay leaves, turmeric, and curry powder. Stir to combine.
- Add the lentils, sun-dried tomatoes, and cooking liquid. I usually do 4 cups of water and 4 cups of broth.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 1 hour, until the lentils are fully cooked.
- To serve, add the soup to bowls and stir in a portion of the chopped fresh herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a squeeze of lime or lemon.
To learn more about Alyssa and her work, please visit Live Free and Thrive Nutrition.