Velvet Spice Red Lentil Soup
Soup is more than food to me; it’s a survival technique in the winter. When days get cold and dark and the holiday baking begins and tempts me with empty sugar-y calories, I turn to soup to nourish my body and my soul.
In soup, I find a bowl of comfort and warmth, a treat in itself. And if done right, it’s also a bowl full of nourishment. This red lentil soup is full of protein from the lentils and ham, cleansing fiber from the lentils and vegies and healthy vitamins from the vegetables and spices. Yes, the spices in this soup are part of its super-power.
- Cumin is good for the eyes and for controlling diabetes and cholesterol.
- Cayenne serves as a pain reliever, appetite suppressant, and is good for fighting psoriasis and cluster headaches.
- Cinnamon regulates blood sugar, reduces LDL cholesterol levels, fights infection and helps with menstrual pain.
- Turmeric especially is a health booster. It adds a rich golden color and flavor to this soup, but also powerful antioxidants and cancer-fighting agents. Natalie Kling, a Los Angeles-based nutritionist, says of turmeric:
“It’s inexpensive, mild in taste, and benefits every system in the body,” Kling says. “Adding this powerful plant to your diet is one of the best things you can do for long term health.”
When I pondered what to name the soup, the rich spices and color and soft, velvety texture of it led me to “velvet spice”. I hope you enjoy it. Personally, I’m savoring every thick, hearty spoonful.
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1/2 of a medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 - 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups lentils
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 - 3 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 - 3 teaspoons powdered chimayo chile pepper or cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 - 6 teaspoons better than bouillon, chicken flavor
- 1 cup ham (omit the ham for a vegetarian soup)
- 1 cup kale leaves, chopped
- In your soup pot, melt the butter, then add the celery, onion and garlic and saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the water, bay leaf and lentils, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the lentils are soft and tender.
- Add the carrots, bell pepper, spices and better than bouillon. Bring to a boil again and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the ham and cook for just a few minutes longer until the ham is hot, then stir in the kale just before serving.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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