Red Lentil, Cannellini Bean and Vegetable Soup
By Amy Crawford
No one can deny the merit in taking the time to prepare a vegetable soup that becomes an entire meal. Soup is handy to have in the freezer to satiate hunger pangs during the day, but it's even handier if one serve has the capacity to sustain you until your next meal.
Say hello then to my Red Lentil, Cannellini Bean and Vegetable Soup, a winning combo combining gut healing bone broth (unless of course you choose the vegetarian option), protein, complex carbohydrates, iron and dietary fibre, just to start. Lentils themselves are touted for their ability to reduce heart disease and blood cholesterol. Include a mix of your favourite vegetables and there you have it, a meal in one.
This soup is pretty hardy, and by hardy I mean you can whack whatever veggies that need eating right on in. Leave the chilli out or halve it if need be - some like it hot (and some don't!). Also, I made this recipe first with chopped fresh tomatoes and then again with canned. I actually prefered the fresh option, the latter felt a little acidic for me but either way, still yum.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 long red chilli, finely chopped, seeds included (less, or optional)
1cm piece of turmeric, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon powder)
1 large carrot, diced
3 cups raw vegetables, chopped (I used kale, broccoli, zucchini)
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
4 cups bone broth or vegetable stock
1 heaped cup chopped cherry tomatoes (see para above recipe re: canned)
1/3 cup dried red lentils
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
A good pinch of black pepper
1 can cannellini beans, drained and well rinsed
In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, fresh turmeric (if using, add powder next step), chilli, and capsicum and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
Now add the carrots and vegetables, smoked paprika, powdered turmeric (if not fresh) and cumin. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the stock, tomatoes, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bring to the boil. Cover your pot and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for a further ten minutes.
Add the cannellini beans, cover the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
(This next step is optional but I do it to give the soup a creamier, thicker texture).
Transfer three heaped cups of soup to your blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup back to the pot and stir, combining well.
Please don't forget to report back and give me your feedback, I so love hearing from you!