Updated: Feb 14
I wanted to share a recipe that I make when I am less than motivated to cook or if I can’t think of anything else to make for dinner. Having staples on-hand, such as lentils, cooked rice, and cans of coconut milk, allows for easier last-minute meal options. This soup is perfect for cold weather and is also good if you are feeling a bit run down as all the ingredients are wonderful immune boosters.
While lentils (full of fiber, protein, iron, and polyphenols) and turmeric (a digestive stimulant, antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory) are heavy hitters in terms of their health benefits, the star of the show for me here is the coconut milk. It not only adds a creaminess to the soup but it is also packed with vitamins and minerals and is suggested to lower levels of bacteria and infections that cause viruses, due to its lauric acid. Other studies have shown coconut milk to help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
-1 TBS coconut oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 TBS ginger, minced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-½ TBS ground turmeric
-3 carrots, sliced
-1 cup red or yellow lentils (these cook faster and break down easier than green or brown)
-4 cups water or veggie broth
-1 can coconut milk (I love Trader Joe’s brand - it’s organic and only contains coconut and water)
-2 tsp salt (more or less to taste, depending on if you use broth or water)
-optional: a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (the extra little bit of spice is fantastic in this but not necessary), greens such as chopped spinach or kale
Heat the oil in a large pot or saute pan and add the onions, ginger, and garlic, sauteeing for about 3 minutes. Add the turmeric (and red pepper flakes, if using) and saute for another minute. Add the lentils and water/broth and cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and add the salt. This is where I will usually toss in some spinach or kale and stir to let them soften a bit.
*Note: I love to add a couple of scoops of brown rice to the bowl when serving. Also, adding butternut squash or sweet potato would be good, although this would increase the cooking time. Adding a dash of curry powder would be delicious as well!
*Adapted from budgetbytes.com