This healthy, colour-packed recipe for Turmeric, Lentil & Lemon Soup scoops up some key anti-inflammatory ingredients and simmers them in a silky autumnal broth.
Whether you are fighting a cold, feeling low in energy or just fancy a nourishing bowl of something tasty, be sure to make time for this intensely flavoured and easily made soup. I bet you already have the ingredients.
Built on a base of quercetin-rich red onions, immune-regulating garlic and anti-inflammatory darling turmeric, the broth – at once light and hearty – floats a veritable who’s who of nutritious food superstars. Kale, carrots, lentils, sun-dried tomatoes (for a tasty dose of lycopene) and lemon zest, not to mention fresh herbs and chilli flakes, come together to invigorate you on the coldest and shortest of days. You can change the kale for cabbage of any kind; add in some cooked grains for heft; leave out the chilli flakes. But what I would say is that I have carefully balanced the flavours until I (and my chief tester) have judged it to be perfect. I would urge you to first try it as written before making it your own way – although you know I love it when you make my recipes YOUR recipes.
We have declared this our favourite soup of the season. I doubt I will better it, to be honest. But I will try!A few words of wisdom – to be ignored if you like: serve the broth warm rather than scalding hot. The flavours really really come through when it has been cooked and allowed to cool a bit. Use the cooling time to slice some good bread (no sliced and bagged stuff please) and slide it into the toaster or under the grill. Now reach up on tip toes to fetch the good evoo
that you hide from the rest of the household (oops, is that just me then?) and drizzle some over the toast, keeping it handy to anoint the soup if you wish. We have it without any fripperies but if you fancy doing so add shavings of fresh Parmesan or a vegetarian equivalent. This soup makes four hearty servings and freezes well. Andrew has taken it to work and eaten it at room temperature; he reported back that this was perfectly fine to do.
5 Ways To Tweak Your Anti-Inflammatory Broth
1) Add in more goodness by tipping in a can of best quality tomatoes (tomatoes are NOT pro-inflammatory*, although individuals may be sensitive to the small amount of solanin in all edible nightshade relatives)
2) Change out the kale for its milder cousins, chard or spinach
3) Cook up some grains and add them in. Or better yet, reach into your freezer to add in some frozen grains that you cleverly cooked at an earlier date. Freekeh is especially fabulous here.
4) Make this with more of an Indian sub-continent vibe by adding in half teaspoon each of ground cumin, cinnamon and coriander; ditching the rosemary for leaf coriander/cilantro
5) Add in even more vegetables! The more the merrier. Why not try cubes of celeriac, rutabaga or green beans?
* If you are interested in what DOES cause inflammation, have a read of this layman’s article from healthline.com on the 6 Foods That Cause Inflammation.
***And, if you are keen to know more about the power of turmeric (and what it can’t do) and the best way to use it, read (or re-read) my article, Spiced Golden Milk – Drinking To Your Health.
***Plus, my more recent article – with a fabulous turmeric soft drink recipe – that drills down into the best ways to get the most out of including turmeric in your diet.
Have you fully made the switch from leafy salads to soups? What foods are you craving right now?
Turmeric, Lentil and Lemon Soup
This healthy, colour-packed soup recipe scoops up some key anti-inflammatory ingredients and simmers them up in a silky autumnal broth.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion finely diced
- 2 celery sticks finely diced
- 1 medium carrot finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric or fresh, grated
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice optional
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 150 grams red/orange lentils rinsed
- 1.7 litres light vegetable stock I use Marigold Swiss Bouillon
- 8 sun-dried tomato halves in oil chopped
- 80 grams kale rinsed and chopped in small pieces
- 1/2 unwaxed lemon zest and juice
- 1 handful parsley finely chopped
- extra extra virgin olive oil for serving
Heat the olive oil in a medium-large saucepan over low-medium flame. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, turmeric, pepper, allspice, rosemary and chilli flakes. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until smelling gorgeous and garlicky
Add in the lentils and stock. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and partially cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
Stir in the kale, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest to the soup. Bring back up to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley and serve warm, rather than hot.
This brothy soup tastes best on the day, but freezes and reheats well. If you know you won't be eating it for a day or two, leave out the last-minute additions of kale, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon juice until you reheat the broth.
To make the broth heartier, add a handful of cooked grains. Adding uncooked into the broth will "muddy" it, but that's just a cosmetic thing. Add more stock if using uncooked grains.
LENTIL SOUPS & STEWS ON FOOD TO GLOW
All Seasons’ Minestrone – my favourite minestrone ever!
Lentil Soup with Spinach, Mint and Caraway – sounds odd, but tastes amazing!
Butternut Squash, Lentil and Lemongrass Curry (more a stew)
AUTUMN SOUPS FROM FELLOW FOOD LOVERS
Quick Spinach Soup – from Camilla at Fab Food 4 All
Cabbage Soup with Ginger and Harissa – from Cathy at Planet Veggie
Quick Kale Soup – from cookbook author Kate at Veggie Desserts
Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup – from Helen at Fuss Free Flavours
Butternut Squash, tahini and Lemon Soup – from Helen at Fuss Free Flavours
Celeriac Soup with Apple and Chilli Oil – from Chris at Thinly Spread
Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup – from Chris at Thinly Spread
Mushroom Soup with Freekeh – from Helen at Family Friends Food
Sweet & Sour Cabbage and Tomato Soup with Rice – from Helen at Family Food Friends
Chunky Vegetable Soup with Spinach-Cashew Pesto – by Elizabeth at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
Apple Parsnip Soup – by Choclette at Tin and Thyme
Beetroot and Autumn Vegetables Soup – by Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food For Families
RIPE FOR PINNING!