Recipe and photos courtesy of: A Cedar Spoon
We know we have it good out here in California, but it sure has been a chilly winter! As the nights get colder, we continue to find ourselves craving comfort foods that keep our bellies full and our bodies warm. This Moroccan Red Lentil Soup is packed with flavor and has some top-notch breast cancer fighting ingredients. Cooking up a batch of this is sure to satisfy your taste buds and help your body fight off nasty cancer causing cells.
Don’t let the amount of ingredients in this soup scare you away, chances are you have the vast majority of the ingredients stored in your pantry already. However, this combination of spices, veggies, and lentils is anything but ordinary. Lentils are one of the main ingredients in this dish and make the soup nice and hearty. Lentils are made up of different phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and contain a high dose of dietary fiber. Because of this, they have become a part of a healthy diet as they are thought to be helpful in reducing the risk of different types of cancers.
Turmeric, a small yet key ingredient in this dish, is super flavorful and even more beneficial to your health. Turmeric is a spice grown in India and other tropical regions of Asia that has a long history of use in herbal remedies. The root and rootstock of the plant contain curcumin, which is considered to be the active ingredient and the most important part of the spice. Curcumin is thought to:
- Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
- Decrease inflammation
- Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
- Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
- Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
- Help prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth
We are so excited to make this for dinner this week. Not much sounds better than eating a bowl of this soup while sitting by the fire on a chilly California night!
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. sweet paprika
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- Dash of pepper
- 8 cups vegetable broth, low sodium if possible
- 1-15oz can crushed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
- 2 cups red lentils, picked over, washed and rinsed until water runs clean
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until tender (about 3-4 minutes). Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes stirring the whole time.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and lentils stir well and heat to a boil.
- Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the soup from the heat and ladle half of the soup into a large mixing bowl. Carefully blend half of the soup in a separate container with an immersion blender (or use a blender) in small batches if necessary. Return the blended half of the soup back to the pot and mix well.
- Stir in the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parsley and cilantro, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot with warm pita bread or bread of your choice. Garnish with extra parsley and cilantro if you desire.