Now Autumn’s here and with it some crazy storms I’ve rediscovered this high protein immune-supporting soup that’s a bowl full of sunshine. To make it into a complete meal add a cupful of cooked greens per person at the end (a bag of baby spinach would do). If you want to gain weight, add some extra carbs such as wholemeal gluten-free bread or leftover cooked rice (reheat well in the soup). If you eat gluten) some 100% rye or wholemeal sourdough. This soup freezes well too.
Note: You can save yourself effort chop all veg and spices only roughly if you’re going to blend the soup later on.
1 very large onion or 2 medium chopped onions
2 large sticks celery, sliced
2 large carrots (about 300g), sliced
2 heaped tbs (tablespoons) finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 rounded tbs ghee or virgin coconut oil (if you have an inflamed gut, ghee is best).
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Heaped teaspoon turmeric powder
Heaped teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 level tsp ground cardamom powder if you have it
500ml carton of passata (sieved tomatoes) or a 400g can chopped tomatoes
750ml filtered water or leftover vegetable cooking water (e.g. from steaming veg)
250g (mug and a quarter) dried red lentils
1 heaped tsp health store additive-free vegetable stock powder (for the SC Diet use Dr Coys Organic Vegetable Bouillon)
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with lid on a medium heat for a minute. Add ghee/oil, onion, celery, carrots, ginger and a small splash of water, cover with a lid and sweat for 10 minutes.
2. Add garlic, turmeric and cardamom if you have it, stir for a minute before adding passata/tinned tomatoes and water.
3.Give everything a stir then add the lentils so they sit on top (otherwise during cooking they stick to the bottom). If the lentils are not entirely submerged in liquid, add a bit more water or stock.
4. Boil for 15-20 mins for 20 mins/until lentils and veg are soft. Only stir the lentils gently at the very top if they are stuck together, otherwise leave them alone.
5. Mix the veg stock powder into a little water and add to the soup AFTER the the lentils are soft (otherwise salt makes the lentils touch).
4. If you want a smooth soup now give it a whizz with a stick blender.
5 reasons this is good for you:
Lentils and onions contain prebiotic fibre. This feeds friendly bacteria you need for healthy digestive system and immunity.
Turmeric, ginger, garlic, coconut oil, cardamom and coriander reduce numbers of disease-causing bacteria/viruses in your gut.
Processed cooked tomatoes are the richest source of antioxidant lycopene to help ALL of you
Ghee contains butyric acid, a metabolite produced by friendly bowel bacteria to keep your gut and immune system tip-top.
Lentils are a rich and easy-to-digest source of protein which is essential for antibody production to protect against infection.