I love the cooler months in Sydney for so many reasons. My favourite things about Autumn and Winter in no particular order are being rugged up and cosy, being able to walk outside anytime of the day without fear of burning or getting too hot and making soups and nourishing slow cooked meals for taking to work for lunch in my thermos.
When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing quite as nurturing and comforting as a tasty, warm bowl of soup to nourish the soul. Eating healthy and nutritious meals always gives me a feeling of optimal wellness, both mentally and physically. This is one of the reasons why I became a naturopath and why I am relentless in my quest for easy to prepare, healthy recipes for the time poor clients I treat and for my busy household. This simple and tasty healthy vegan green lentil soup recipe has made it onto my cold month menu list. It’s completely vegan and easy to make the night before as you relax or over the weekend as you prep meals for the week ahead.
As a dietary educator for my clients, it is critical that I support intelligent meal decision making. Ensuring a focus on having sufficient protein in the diet, lentils are a wonderful plant base protein and are actually made up of over 25% protein. They are also rich in fibre, potassium and non heme iron making them a perfect meal option for heart health, blood glucose management and digestion with an abundance of B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, potassium and let’s not forget fibre.
Healthy species of gut bacteria love legumes too and I love looking after my bacteria ecosystem due to the role they play in health however if you have a bacterial overgrowth or you have a gut condition that is impacted by gas producing meals, then you may need to strategically bring them into your diet with naturopathic support. Legume consumption in the diet is linked to gut microbiome diversity and abundance of some wonderfully healthy bacteria species.
And as mortgage rates increase and the cost of living gets more and more expensive, Lentils are a budget friendly option for us all.
Lentils are a gold star plant based protein and as I often recommend a selection of weekly meat free lunches and dinners for many of my clients without forgetting a quality protein, this soup is a fabulous option.
But let’s not forget the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and herbs that make an appearance in this dish.
To me, garlic is one of the most powerful foods on the planet. Studies link the compounds in garlic such as allicin, alliin, allinase, beta-sitosterol and a variety of vitamins and minerals to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Other effects include anti-microbial actions, cholesterol lowering and more.
I suggest buying a thermos for one or several for the family and taking this warm and nutritious soup to work for a weekday lunch.
Here is the recipe!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped in small chunks
- 3 celery sticks, chopped finely
- 1 x 400gram can or organic diced tomatoes
- 8 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 cups of rinsed dry green lentils
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- 2 handfuls of thinly sliced silver beat or baby spinach
- Salt and pepper healthy grind to taste
- Juice of half a large lemon
Heat your olive oil in a large saucepan and add garlic, onions, celery, and carrot.
Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often so your carrot and celery start to soften a little.
Add your vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir to combine.
Bring your liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy.
Pour 3 cups of mix into a blender and then return to the saucepan and stir to mix all ingredients.
Stir in baby spinach and lemon juice and serve or refrigerate for another meal.