Spicy Lentil Soup

This is a hearty and delicious soup that packs a nice punch and delivers an immune boosting combination of turmeric and healthy fat (coconut milk and extra virgin olive oil).  Enjoy!

You will need:

1 -2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger (about 1 Tbsp grated)
½ Tbsp ground turmeric
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 small dried red chile (optional, available in Indian grocery stores)
2-3 carrots, chopped
½ lb red or yellow lentils (about 1 cup)
4 cups water
13.5 oz can coconut milk
½ Tbsp salt (or to taste)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
¼ bunch cilantro (optional)
1 cup cooked jasmine rice (optional)
Juice of 1 lime (optional)

Directions:

Heat a large pot and add the olive oil.  Add the diced onion, the minced garlic, and grated or minced ginger.  Sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.

Add the turmeric and red pepper to the pot and let sauté for a few minutes.  Add the carrots, sauté for 3 – 4 minutes, then add the dried chile (if using), lentils and water.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat; then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

After 20 to 30 minutes the lentils should be soft and breaking down.  Remove the dried chile.  Stir in the coconut milk.  Next blend the warm soup in small batches (or use an immersion blender) until about half of the soup is puréed.   If you prefer, you can blend it all for a completely smooth soup.  Finally, add salt, 1/2 tsp at a time, until seasoned to your taste.

To serve, ladle about 1 1/2 cups into a bowl and top with 1/4 cup cooked rice, (if desired), some fresh cilantro leaves, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes.  To brighten the flavor, add a squeeze of lime juice.

You can find a printable PDF version of this recipe here.

posted in Recipes, Soups / Stews, Uncategorized

Curried Pumpkin Soup

If you don’t load it up with cream, pumpkin is a low calorie food, with tons of Vitamin A
(good for your eyes) and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. These minerals can play a role in your ability to stay hydrated, among other benefits. Like all members of the squash family, it’s actually a fruit! The seeds are also delicious, and super-nutritious. So here’s what I’m making for Thanksgiving supper: curried pumpkin soup.

You will need:
2 medium onions
2 cloves garlic
2” piece of fresh ginger
1 – 2 Tb Olive / coconut oil
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp ground cardamom
2 big cans organic pumpkin
3 cups water
2 cups veggie / chicken stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk
¾ tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp salt

Directions:
Finely chop the onions, and mince the garlic cloves and ginger. It’s easiest to put the garlic through a press, and use a grater or microplane for the ginger. You can also use garlic and ginger paste if you’re in a hurry.
Heat a heavy sauté pan over fairly low heat. Add enough olive oil (or coconut oil, if you like the flavor) to really coat the bottom of your pan: about 1 – 2 tablespoons*. Add 2 tsp. brown mustard seeds*. Let them “pop”. Add the onion, let it sauté a few minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and let that cook a bit. Add the cumin, coriander, and cardamom.
*If you are interested in avoiding oil, consider learning more about dry sautéing.

Now you can open 2 big cans of pumpkin and toss that it. You want at least 3 cups. Trader Joes has organic pumpkin; just make sure you don’t use pumpkin pie filling! Now add about 3 cups of water, 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, and 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (also available at Trader Joes).
Season with ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes & 1-2 tsp. salt. Let it simmer for half an hour. Then let it cool, and puree in a blender or food processor. Check to see if it needs more salt.

If you want to make this ahead of time, just cool completely and refrigerate. When you re-heat it, you can top it with a little creamy yoghurt and some cilantro. Happy Thanksgiving!

Other ideas:
In addition to veggie and chicken stock, you can also use bouillon or a combination of miso paste and water for a more umami flavor.

posted in Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Soups / Stews, Uncategorized

Pumpkin Chili

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oilVegetarian Chili
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 1 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
 
Optional garnishes:
  • Minced green scallions
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salted pumpkin seeds
 

Heat heavy pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Add onion, celery, garlic and cumin seeds.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add red bell pepper, chili powder and oregano.  Saute a few minutes more until bell pepper starts to soften.  

Add cinnamon, tomatoes, pumpkin and beans.  Add stock and let it heat through.  Turn heat down to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.  Check the seasoning; add more chili if you like it spicier, or more stock if needed.  Let cook another 10 minutes; add salt to taste.  This freezes well.

 

Click here for a print-friendly version.

posted in Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Soups / Stews, Uncategorized

Susan’s Winter Soup

Squash and Bean  Soup

Serves 4

  •  1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Bean-Soup-And-Parsley1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1yellow squash, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 16o can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto

Heat oil over medium heat, sauté onion for about five minutes; add both squash and garlic and sauté for 5 more minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes.

Click here for a print-friendly version of this recipe.

posted in Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Soups / Stews, Uncategorized

Curried Pumpkin Soup

One of the very first Health Tips I ever sent out was called Pumpkin: Not Just for Pie!  If you don’t load it up with cream, pumpkin is a low calorie food, with tons of Vitamin A (good for your eyes) and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. These minerals can play a role in your ability to stay hydrated, among other benefits. Like all members of the squash family, it’s actually a fruit! The seeds are also delicious, and super-nutritious.

So here’s what I’m making for Thanksgiving supper: Curried Pumpkin Soup.

Pumpkin cream soup with pumpkin seeds

  • 2 medium onions (or 1 onion and a few shallots)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin*
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  1. Finely chop onions.
  2. Mince garlic and ginger. It’s easiest to put the garlic through a press, and use a grater or microplane for the ginger. Or use garlic and ginger paste if you’re in a hurry.
  3. Heat a heavy sauté pan over fairly low heat.  Add enough olive oil (or coconut oil, if you like the flavor) to really coat the bottom of your pan:  about 1 – 2 tablespoons.  Add brown mustard seeds.  Let them “pop”.  Add the onion, let it sauté a few minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and let that cook a bit.
  4. Add cumin, coriander and cardamom. *Or just use a curry powder you like; I use a combination of mustard seeds, cumin and curry powder.
  5. Now you can open 2 big cans of pumpkin and toss that it.  You want at least 3 cups.  Trader Joes has organic pumpkin; just make sure you don’t use pumpkin pie filling!  Now add about 3 cups of water, 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, and 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (also available at Trader Joes).

If you want to make this ahead of time, just cool completely and refrigerate.  When you re-heat it, you can top it with a little creamy yoghurt and some cilantro, if you like.  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Click here for a print friendly version.

posted in Recipes, Seasonal Recipes, Soups / Stews, Uncategorized