Happy 2016 ya'll!
It seems as though winter came in full force as soon as we changed up that last digit in the year, which means all I've been craving is warm bowls of everything!
As the green smoothies have been running ramped on all the blogs I follow, I figured I'd go a different route for this "New Year, New You" post. Bonus: You don't have to slurp down a frigid drink as you already are frost-bitten from the cold outside.
As we've likely filled our bellies with lots of sweets, fats, and liquor over the past week or two (hello holiday food baby), now is the crucial time to get our bodies back into a rhythm with grace.
So, how to rid the body of all those toxins?
First off, hydrate. Drink lots of water! Throw in a lemon as well to get the body's pH balance back on track. Second, take a daily probiotic. My all time ritual. Hm, blog post soon on this topic?
Third: Say hello to fiber. This means eating lots of plants. Get yo' greens, beans, and seeds. When we consume fiber, it binds to all the 'gunk' leftover in our GI tract and is then excreted through our feces, leaving our systems clean (aka healthier and happier gut and mood!) For a woman, aim to get in at least 25g/day. For a man, you need about 35g/day.
So what's so great about lentil soup?
- Loaded with fiber! 1 cup of lentils = 16 g fiber!! (that's more than 1/2 the recommended amount for women, and almost 1/2 for men!)
- Excellent source of vegetarian protein. 1 cup = 18g !
- Great source of iron
- Essentially the soup cooks itself! Easy peasy.
This recipe was taken from one of my favorite cookbooks, The New Moosewood Cookbook. It was actually my very first vegetarian cookbook, given as a gift from my wonderful cousin who has tested and tried many of the recipes. The soup is incredibly easy to make, and basically cooks itself once you prep the ingredients. I modified the original recipe a bit, but either works out just perfectly!
3 C. green or yellow lentils, dry
7 C. water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
6 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
2 C. chopped onion
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
lots of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
Directions: Place lentils, water, and salt in a large pot over the stove. Heat until water is boiling, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, wash and chop your vegetables. In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil to medium heat, and throw in your spices and veggies for 3-5 minutes. This will help bring out their flavor before you add them to the soup.
Next, add your vegetables into the lentil soup, stirring occasionally for about another 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. If you have an immersion blender, blend the soup within the pot until your desired thickened texture. For those that don't have an immersion blender, you can always pour half the soup into a food processor or blender for 15 seconds. Once done, stir the blended form back into the original to give it a nice texture.
Easy, plant-based, and delicious!
Yields 6-8 servings.