There is nothing more nourishing and comforting than a hot bowl of soup on a cold fall afternoon or evening.
Now, I’m not talking about canned soup. I’m talking about the real homemade stuff that you know what’s going into it so that you know you’re being nourished by it.
This soup is a favourite amongst my family and friends. It contains inflammation-busting turmeric, organ-nourishing coconut, aromatic cumin and cardamom, and of course, nutrient-dense lentils.
Why You Need To Eat This Soup
This soup combines anti-inflammatory foods and spices to create the perfect elixir to treat and cure the cold and flu, or even allergies and asthma. Although inflammation is a part of your body’s natural healing process, when it gets out of control, your body literally starts attacking itself.
Chronic inflammation is an underlying factor in many diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. By eating this turmeric lentil soup, you’ll lower the levels of inflammation in your body, and thus, lower your risk of developing these diseases (or, if you already suffer from them, you might even be able to reverse the symptoms, or the entire disease itself).
Turmeric, as you might already know, is one of the strongest anti-inflammatories out there. It helps aid in fat metabolism and weight management, helps reduce chronic coughs, strengthens ligaments, improves the state of the skin, speeds wound healing, purifies the blood, prevents cancer, is a strong anti-arthritic, improves digestion, lowers cholesterol, and many more.
One study found that curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) lowered the risk of heart attack in post-op patients who received coronary bypass surgery by as much as 65%!
It is also a major anti-cancer compound, as many promising studies have shown. Curcumin prevents the formation of cancer-causing enzymes, and thus reduces the risk of cancerous cell-formation and cell growth. One of the cancer-fighting mechanisms in turmeric involves inhibiting the activity of the enzyme Topoisomerase, which is essential in the replication of cancer cells. Therefore, turmeric literally prevents the ability of cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body.
Coconut milk is another great ingredient to be adding to your soups. It contains iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium, and essential fatty acids. Selenium is necessary for proper thyroid and immune function. It can also prevent heart disease, cancer, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis (1).
The fibre in lentils improves blood cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood pressure, and lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke (2). Therefore, lentils are great for diabetics as well as preventing type 2 diabetes.
Before making this turmeric lentil soup, make sure you measure out however many lentils you need, and then massage them in a large bowl of water. This will help get out the starches, and will prevent foam from bubbling up and out of the soup while it is cooking (plus, it will help with digestion, and reduce flatulence!).
– 3 cups water
– 1.5 cups coconut milk
– 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
– 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
– 2 cups red lentils
– 1 cup chopped tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon coconut oil
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 4-5 cardamom pods
– 1 large onion, finely diced
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
– pinch of black pepper
1. Rinse the red lentils with cold water (massage them in a bowl of water for best results), until the water runs clear.
2. Let the lentils drain completely.
3. While the lentils are draining, melt the coconut oil in a medium sized pot, and sauté the onions on medium heat until they are soft and golden.
4. Next, add the turmeric and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add water and bring the heat to high.
6. Once it’s boiling heavily, turn the heat down to medium, and add the lentils and cardamom. Simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
7. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin, sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook until the lentils are soft – about 10-20 minutes. For a smoother soup, simmer for about an hour.
8. Serve warm, and garnish with pumpkin seeds and coconut shavings.