Nothing warms you up better on a frigid winter day than a bowl of hearty, warm, soup. But a bowl of soup can be hearty without being unhealthy! Skip the heavy cream and fatty sausage and dive into this turmeric lentil soup with coconut cream. And since soups usually get better as the flavors sit together, these leftovers will be a great addition to a stress-free lunch meal plan.
Before we dive into the recipe, here is a rundown of the ingredients in this soup and how they can benefit your health.
If you don’t have turmeric in your home, your main exposure to it is probably in curry. Turmeric happens to be a very versatile ingredient, though, adding a mild warmth to mustards, sauces, and soups. Turmeric is high in curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory, making it a go-to in medical salves for burns, swelling, worms, infected wounds, and sores.
Turmeric is also useful for treating headaches, diarrhea, high cholesterol, gallbladder disorders and digestive issues.
For those looking to combat that excess holiday weight, there’s good news! Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent ingredient for preventing bloating. It also helps your body better metabolize fat, which is definitely useful with all of the Christmas cookie parties you were obligated to attend this year!
Coconut cream is 4 parts coconut, 1 part water. Don’t use sweetened cream of coconut that has added sugars. Coconut milk is equal parts coconut and water, making it less fatty than coconut cream. But coconut cream adds a richness to this recipe, and once you look into the type of fat you’re eating, it’s definitely worth the trade off.
A large percentage of the fatty acids in coconut cream are medium-chain fatty acids, meaning they give your cells fat-burning energy. They digest quickly and speed up your metabolism. Coconut cream has all the health benefits that coconut oil does.
This means that the high amount of lauric acid helps your immune system fight viruses, bacteria, and fungus. It is also vegan, and free of the additives that dairy cream and other milk alternatives are exposed to.
Lentils are one the healthiest legumes out there. Their nutty, earthy flavor is accompanied by a ton of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, improving heart and digestive health, stabilizing blood sugar, and increasing energy. Lentils are also a great source of folate, which is imperative for women’s health.
Creamy Turmeric Lentil Soup
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for this hearty, healthy lentil soup with some options for variation based on health concerns and dietary preferences.
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (or try coconut oil to enhance the coconut flavor)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup lentils (whichever color you prefer)
- 4 cups broth (homemade vegetable broth is preferred, but if you’re not vegetarian, you can use chicken or fish broth for different flavors. Beef stock is likely too heavy for this recipe.)
- 2 cups spinach, kale, or greens of choice
- 1 14 oz can coconut cream
- Heat oil in large pot. Add onion, saute for 3 minutes.
- Add carrots and celery, and saute until veggies are slightly soft about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and spices, cooking until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Add lentils and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmering, cooking uncovered for about 25 minutes or until lentils are soft.
- Add greens and coconut cream and stir until incorporated.
- As you can see, this is a very versatile soup. As written, it is vegan, though you can add meat or animal products if you like. Squash and bell peppers would be a great addition. You can also replace the onion with leek, or add lemongrass for a thai flair. Add cilantro and lime juice for some last minute freshness.
See what you have in your fridge and try it out! You won’t be disappointed in this tasty, warm winter soup!
Healthy recipes like this are one of the reasons that many Americans prefer to cook at home, despite the plethora of fast-food and restaurant dining options available. At the end of the day, the affordability, healthiness, and heart-warming qualities of home-cooked food just win out.
Source: healthy-holistic-living.com – Credits