Red Lentil Soup
Updated: Dec 27, 2020
Taking a moment to recharge during the hectic holidays with my Easy Red Lentil Soup.
To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, do you ever find yourself looking for the shelter of your own version of a mother’s little helper during the holidays? This might be an extra glass of wine, lots of coffee, cookies or nibbles of chocolate to feel better.
But it is a busy parent, care-giver or host’s saving grace to have some nourishing quick fixes handy - a healthy “mother’s little helper” if you will.
I love making a big batch of my Easy Red Lentil Soup (5 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to cook, see recipe in my bio). This soup works wonders for when you can take a few stolen moments during the madness of the holiday. Serve yourself a bowl and restore with nourishment and warmth that can be easily depleted when we are stressed.
The red lentils are packed with iron, zinc, magnesium, fibre and are a great source of plant protein. Red lentils cook up quickly and are a fabulous base to a hearty, not heavy, meal - perfect for when you need to get back to running around for end-of-year work and holiday prep.
Coconut milk adds creamy warmth and is satisfying and cozy. The symphony of red lentils, coconut milk, mild spices (cumin, corinander and turmeric) and veggies work wonders in restoring and recharging you.
The anti-inflammatory effects of the turmeric in this soup are enhanced by the coconut milk and black pepper. Add to this a punch of anti-oxidant rich lycopene from the tomatoes.
Spinach, rich in B vitamins and calcium, combined with fresh coriander or parsley (both provide vitamin K and Vitamin C) are easy add-ons that you can quickly wash, tear and toss in.
And then you can add pumpkin seeds and whatever you have on hand – extra veggies, half an avocado (great in this soup!) a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Yum!!!!
Grab a spoon and take a few minutes to enjoy. Your home may not be quiet. It may not be calm. But for a few minutes I hope you can find some shelter with this super healthy, nutrient rich mother’s little helper.
Top tip: This is great for cooking ahead and keeping divided portions in the freezer and fridge for easy access.
Easy Red Lentil Soup
1 ½ Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil
3 small red onions (or 1 large red onion), chopped (or in half-moons)
1 ¼ cup red lentils (rinsed and sieved)
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
700 mls vegetable stock (I use water and Marigold vegetable stock powder)
100 mls water (reserve)
1 400 mls can coconut milk
2 large handfuls of washed spinach
To serve (optional to choose or combine):
1 Tbsp coriander or parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
¼ avocado, sliced
Drizzle of olive oil
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add your ghee or coconut oil (vegan option), diced red onion and a splash of water. Saute gently for 3 – 5 minutes.
2. Add the spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper and salt) and stir for 1 minute.
3. Add the red lentils and stir for another minute, breaking up the lentils and covering them with the ghee (or coconut oil) and spices.
4. Add both cans of tomatoes and 700 mls vegetable stock. Stir well, increase temperature and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender, stir occasionally and add 100 mls water if the soup gets too thick and the lentils are sticking to the bottom.
5. When lentils are cooked, remove from heat and add the can of coconut milk and stir well.
6. Add the 2 handfuls of washed spinach and stir the spinach so that it wilts into the soup.
7. I prefer to keep the soup more like a rustic stew and stop here. But you could use a handheld immersion blender and blend until smooth (or do half smooth, half rustic.)
Add your optional toppings – coriander, parsley, hemp seeds and / or avocado and a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salt. Enjoy!