Snow Day !
Whoo Hoo! The kids, and this Mom, were overjoyed with the good news of NO SCHOOL! Snow days for me equate to a quiet morning of extended meditation, prayer and reading in bed with a hot cup of tea. Thank you mother nature!
In addition to this peaceful morning, the beautiful snowfall provides the perfect setting for a brisk walk, chill time with the kids and the chance to cozy in the kitchen for some culinary exploration.
I have always been a big fan of soups. Love the comfort it brings to my body and the versatility! Soups can be a simple meal, a snack or be used as an efficient way to get power ingredients into your body. During the cold and flu season I like to make a few soups with immune boosting ingredients. Loading up on garlic is good because it inhibits the growth of a broad range of microbes and blocks the enzymes that help viruses spread. Adding in beta-carotene rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, provide powerful antioxidants that help combat infection. There is so much that you can do to protect or heal yourself with ingredients found right in your own kitchen or what I refer to as my FARMACY 🙂
When looking for a recipe, I search for healing vegetables and spices, a plant based protein and a good punch of fiber, preferably a soluble fiber to protect my heart. Beans, oats and lentils are a good source of soluble fiber. I haven’t used red lentils much, but I tell you, after making these two soups, I am totally digg’n them!. They cook in just 15 minutes and offer about 10 grams of protein. To top it off, there’s no soaking or precooking and they can be added directly into the soup. Making these soups a one pot meal – YAY! You can bet, these little red lentils will always have a home in my pantry!
These are two Oh She Glows inspired red lentil soups that I prepared and will definitely make again and again 🙂 They fit my criteria of being simple to make, filled with healing ingredients,and delicious!
Red Lentil Kale Soup
This soup has a little kick of cayenne pepper, good when you are in the recovery mode as it is sure to clear your nose in no time !
- 1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 & 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth, more if desired
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 handfuls torn kale leaves or spinach
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in oil for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Add in the celery and sauté for a few minutes more.
- Stir in the bay leaf and the spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, cayenne). You can add half the spices and add more later if you prefer.
- Stir in the can of tomatoes (including juice), broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender and fluffy.
- Stir in kale or spinach and season to taste adding more spices if you wish
Indian Lentil-Cauliflower Soup
I can’t get enough of this soup- super yum!
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or other oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1-2 tbsp curry powder, to taste
- 11/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 liters vegetable broth
- 1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium cauliflower, chopped into bite-size florets
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach or baby kale
- 3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, until translucent.
- Stir in the ginger, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, coriander, and cumin and saute for 2 minutes more, until fragrant.
- Add the broth and red lentils and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes more.
- Stir in the cauliflower and sweet potato. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cauliflower and sweet potato are tender. Season with the salt and pepper, and add more curry powder, if desired. Stir in the spinach or kale and cook until wilted.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cilantro, if desired.
I hope you give these immune boosting lentil soups a try. My family loved them! They are flavorful, filling and freeze well. Perfect to double up or share with a neighbor.
Enjoy and may you stay healthy and bright !