Time to get cozy with this fiberful, antioxidant-rich lentil soup! Get the recipe for this hearty way to enjoy kale, lentils, and lots of different spices all in one bowl.
If you’re looking for something cozy and restorative during the colder months, this one’s for you. This soup’s bright yellow color and restorative properties come largely from the turmeric that flavors the broth.
Turmeric is becoming more and more popular, even trendy you might say (turmeric latte, anyone?), but for good reason.
This ancient spice is full of antioxidants that are highly recognized for their anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric, the spice that makes up the foundation of curry, has a mild but distinctive slightly bitter taste. It can easily be recognized by its strong golden color (which stains!) and is commonly used as a natural dye. The most common form of turmeric is powder but turmeric is actually a root, similar to ginger, that can be used fresh.
Aside from its culinary uses, turmeric is the powerhouse of spices. It has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and is one of the most thoroughly researched plants to this day. Turmeric, more specifically curcumin (one of its antioxidant components), has been shown to have potential benefits in high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, depression and cancer.
While turmeric isn’t a cure-all, its health-promoting properties are reasons to keep this spice as a pantry staple. If you are new to turmeric and not accustomed to its distinct taste, start small and (like with all spices) eventually you’ll build an affinity for it, soon being able to start incorporating more at a time.
Granted, nature doesn’t give us one single miracle substance, but rather they work wonders in synergy with other plant components.
In this case, it’s black pepper. Studies have shown that piperine, a component of black pepper, greatly enhances the concentration and absorption of curcumin in our bodies. Fat has also been shown to enhance the absorption of turmeric. Luckily, we don’t have to go out of our way to incorporate these ingredients when consuming turmeric since both healthy fats and black pepper are typically used in everyday cooking.
In addition to the healing properties of turmeric, this soup is full of protein-packed lentils, hearty kale, and warming spices. The antioxidant rich turmeric and ginger mingle together with cumin, coriander, sumac and a pinch of cayenne for a little heat. The flavors are rounded out with a squeeze of lemon juice. If you’re feeling under the weather or looking for a way to incorporate more turmeric into your diet, try this turmeric lentil soup.
Recipe Notes: This recipe takes into consideration cooking the lentils. I have made this with precooked lentils and it significantly cuts back the time to about 10-15 minutes. That being said, the flavors develop over time so the longer it simmers the more flavorful your soup.
If you do not have coriander or sumac on hand (or access to a local Indian food store), you can simply leave it out and the soup will still taste wonderful.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 tablespoon garlic about 4 large cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry lentils rinsed and sorted
- 1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne to taste
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cup loosely packed chopped kale
- 1 lemon 2 tablespoons, juiced
- squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
- cilantro (optional)
For the full recipe and instructions, read the full article.
HEADER IMAGE: JESSICA KELLEY
Jessica Kelley, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian based in St. Louis, MO. She promotes a healthy lifestyle that focuses on wholesome, natural ingredients to fuel our everyday lives to lay the foundation for balance without obsessing over numbers or fad diets. Read more from Jessica at Nourished by Nutrition.