Curried Lentil Refresh Soup (Vegan/GF)
The holidays are flying right by and with 2019 creeping around the corner, I imagine that so many of you are really starting to think about the next year, your goals, how to make yourself better, new year, new goals, same you, am I right? I don't know about you guys, but its about this time of year that I do try to clean up my diet as best I can to start fresh. While I don't believe you need a new years eve celebration to start something new, I do love the idea of it being a clean slate - and to me, it could be the beginning of a week, a new month, a new goal, any reason to start fresh is great for me. Every year I've cleaned up my diet, my skin care routine, my workout regimen and more, and coming in 2019 I'd like to be better about meal prepping for myself so I don't run home at lunch to eat everything in sight. This soup, I've made for the last two weeks because I just love it that much. Super hearty, tons of greens, good protein and full of flavor - this is a great option for a cold wet winter day, and last all week. Oh, did I mention, its made in the crockpot? Another win.
While I am lucky I have the ability to come home during lunch, you could easily start this soup in the beginning of the day before you leave and set on your lowest setting. Fortunately, you cant really overcook this soup, so if it goes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. til you get home, you'll be just fine. Add all of your ingredients except for the spinach and give it a good swirl. Adjust your seasonings how you'd like - just know that this is one of those soups that'll take on more flavor the next day.
You absolutely can use fresh spinach if you have it - I just love to load it up with a box of frozen spinach. Let it thaw the night before or a few hours before you'd like to eat it. I leave it in a colander in the sink and squeeze out as much liquid as I can. Add the spinach and stir it in about 30 minutes before you want to eat it. Top with any of your favorites: coconut milk, sriracha, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, or have some crackers or crusty bread on the side.
Now just to break it down a little more, I wanted to share some of the benefits of whats in here, and how it'll help you detox a little from that x-mas overload.
Lentils: I think lentils are one of those ingredients that people overlook or think that they may be too difficult to cook. But honest, how much easier than cooking in water can it be? Brown, green, red and yellow, these legumes come in all shapes and sizes. Aside from also being super inexpensive, they are packed with magnesium, zinc and potassium. If you missed my Beating the Bloat post, you'll know already that potassium is super helpful in knocking down bloating. They are also made up of 25% protein and a high fiber content means that they'll be filling, but also super supportive for a healthy gut.
Ginger, Turmeric + Cayenne: All of these spices are super anti-inflammatory, excellent for the belly and ignite that inner fire. Cayenne is also known to help boost metabolism. Turmeric is one of my favorite all time fix it spices - and the benefits are endless.
Spinach: Super nutrient dense, spinach is pumping with vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, iron and calcium. Its also extremely versatile, so you can add it to nearly anything with a very low calorie count.
Coconut Milk: yummy good fats and an awesome option if you're trying to avoid dairy in the new year.
I hope you feel good knowing that you've learned a little about this soup and why its good for you. AND I hope it makes you FEEL good after eating it.
Curry Lentil Refresh Soup (Vegan/GF)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Low heat for 4-5 hours, high heat for 2-3 hours
1.5 cups dried lentils
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon garlic
1 heaping teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
4-5 tablespoons curry powder
Dash of cayenne and nutmeg
1 can full fat coconut milk
2.5 cups broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 box frozen spinach thawed and drained (or 2-3 cups fresh)
Place all ingredients in crockpot except for spinach and give a stir.
Place on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.
In final 30 minutes before ready to eat, add in spinach and cover again.
Serve and enjoy.