Warm Up With a Bowl of Lentil Soup

The colder weather is definitely upon us. I don’t know about you but it definitely makes getting out of bed harder for me each and every day.  I know that once I am up, it’s just like any regular day but it’s almost like the body has to go through an adjustment period before life resumes as per usual.

With that being said, I’ll be honest and say that I have not been on top of meal prepping and/or cooking at all. I’ve been relying on my usual “go to” place for healthier options (i.e. Aroma) but I’ve also fallen victim to a pizza night as I’ve been really wanting to try Conspiracy Pizza in Leaside.  I’ve decided enough is enough as eating out too frequently can affect skin health because at the end of the day, prepared foods may contain higher than normal sodium and sugar levels as well as not have enough fibre.

If you want to make something easy, fast and nutritious, make a big pot of lentil soup.  In every 1/2 c of lentils, there is 12 grams of protein.  In every 1/2 c of red lentils, there is 4 grams of fibre whereas in every 1/2 c of green lentils, there is 9 grams of fibre. You decide which lentils you prefer to use depending on your texture preference. With this recipe, you will be sure to get lots of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate, Iron and Manganese. Let’s not forget about the protein content so you can be sure you will be full after a bowl of this yummy goodness.

As you may know, antioxidants such as Vitamin A and C are vital in maintaining good skin health. Manganese is a mineral that also can help protect cells from free radical damage.  As winter is quickly approaching, it is very easy to fall into a habit of relying on comfort foods (e.g. Mac & Cheese, Pasta, etc.). These comfort foods are often primarily made up of refined carbohydrates which won’t benefit your skin. 😉 Let’s make sure we don’t fall into that habit. Let’s start of with fibre rich and antioxidant rich soup recipe:

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

1.25 c red lentils

2 tsp avocado oil

1.5 c diced onions (3/4 of a large onion)

1.25 c diced carrots (~2 large carrots)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp minced ginger root

1 Tbsp mild yellow curry powder

4 c (1 L) low sodium vegetable broth

2 tsp lime juice

2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Throw in onions followed by carrots. Stir frequently for ~5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and curry powder. Continue to stir frequently until spice are very fragrant and/or onions are very tender.
  2. Stir in lentils. Cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Pour in vegetable broth. Add in 2 cups of additional water. Stir to mix together. Increase heat to medium-high. Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until lentils are very tender. Remove from heat.

** I like my soup chunky but if you do like your soup on the creamier side, you would use an immersion blender to blend the soup until your desired consistency.

curried lentil soup

Don’t Forget To add a handful of spinach on top of the soup to get your greens in. 🙂

curried lentil soup with spinach

Food For Thought:  With the change in weather, do you get into a funk? What do you do to help yourself to get out of the funk?

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