Turkish Red Lentil Soup
This is the final of my current favourite quick and easy soup recipes – a thick hearty soup perfect for a cold, wet Winters day (like today was in Sydney)
This souper-delicious soup is incredibly healthy for you. Why? Have a look at what it contains…
Red lentils – red lentils are low GI (GI of 26), rich in protein, high in fibre and packed with nutrients like B vitamins, folate and minerals. They are also gluten free, easy to prepare (no soaking required), quick cooking (10-15 minutes) and inexpensive (so great for feeding the family).
Tomato paste – a source of lycopene, which is an extremely potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that lycopene is protective against prostate cancer, it helps to prevent UV damage from the sun, protecting against skin cancer and has also been shown to be protective against heart attacks and strokes
Carrots – rich in the antioxidant beta carotene which is converted into Vitamin A in the body soon after it is consumed. Vitamin A is important for good vision, strong immunity and general health
Celery – contains antioxidants (Vitamin C and flavonoids) and it has anti-inflammatory effects. It is especially protective against inflammation in the digestive tract.
Onion and Garlic – part of the Allium family of vegetables. Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with decreased risk of several cancers. For example, one large European study found striking risk reductions in the participants who consumed the greatest quantities of onions or garlic for oral, esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. A 55-80% reduction of almost all major cancers.
Cumin and Sweet Paprika – all spices are rich sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our cells from damage and slow down the ageing process. Many spices also have anti-inflammatory effects. What I particularly like about spices is that they add a depth of flavour and reduce the need to add salt.
This is a great soup to make a large batch of as it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can freeze it for up to 2 months. It makes a great lunch or quick dinner simply served with some sourdough rye or wholegrain toast spread with avocado and topped with rocket and sprouts…YUM!
To cut down on preparation time, I like to chop my vegetables (carrot and celery) in the food processor, however you can cut them by hand if you like. This soup can also be served topped with low fat Greek yoghurt (but I don’t think it is necessary).
This soup is loosely based on a recipe from the gorgeous book The Global Vegetarian Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 2 carrots (330g), roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery (160g), roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ cups (280g) red lentils
- 1750 ml vegetable stock
- Fresh parsley, chives or coriander, to serve
- Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- When hot add the oil and onion and sauté the onion until it is brown.
- Meanwhile, put carrots and celery in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped (this took about 10 seconds on speed 6 in my thermomix) - or you can finely chop by hand.
- Add the garlic, cumin, sweet paprika and tomato paste to the onions and stir for a few minutes before adding the chopped carrot and celery along with the red lentils and vegetable stock.
- Bring the soup to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
- Place a lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
- It can be served as is, or if you prefer you can use a hand blender to make it a bit smoother (or puree it in your food processor).
- Serve with fresh parsley, chives or coriander.
Per Serve: 831kJ or 198 calories; P 13Fat 4g SFat 0.8g CHO 25g Fibre 8g