Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Recipe: Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

I know the weather is getting warmer and many people prefer lighter fare, but soup is an Ayurvedic staple.  It is easy to digest, soothing and nourishing.  It is especially a good food choice when you are stressed or under the weather. 

My soups are filled with lots of vegetables and a legume or grain, so it has the main elements a healthy meal.  Spices help make food more digestible and give it an appealing zest.  This lentil soup is filled with spices and very nutritious.  It has a gourmet flavor for company but the kids still like it.

  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed and checked for any debris
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. each of paprika, turmeric, coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. each of thyme, black pepper and fennel
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on desired level of heat
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 T salt
  • 3-4 T each of tamari and wine
  • 2 T each freshly chopped parsley and cilantro
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 T chopped garlic
  • 4 cups assorted chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, zucchini, turnip, rutabaga, daikon
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  1. Sauté onion in olive oil in large stock pot until softened and aromatic.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add the rest of the vegetables, dry spices and lentils and stir to combine.
  3. Add the water, bring to a boil and turn the flame down to a simmer.  
  4. Simmer for an hour or so, check that the vegetables and lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the vegetables and lentils are a soft, add the remaining ingredients and cook another 15 minutes.  Taste to check for salt and spice and adjust accordingly.
Stay healthy and well,

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