This recipe was submitted by Nicolle Bergeron, Registered Holistic Nutritionist that supports others with their journey to bring real food back to the table.
Spring is in the air and that usually means a shift from heavy, warming, starchy foods to lighter fare. Heavy stews, thick soups, and a lot of spices might be a thing of the past, but if you are looking to find balance- something that might be a little bit lighter, yet warming and cooling at the same time- look no further.
Sometimes you might think of soups for the spring to be too heavy, or spices for the spring to be too warming, but with the right blend of ingredients you will find that some spring soups will make your day so much brighter!
Why you’ll want to balance out with this quinoa lentil soup:
- Lentils are an amazing source of plant-based protein. They are easy to cook, high in fiber, contain slow release carbohydrates and are incredibly nutrient dense. The fiber and protein in this meal will leave your blood sugars balanced and keep your belly happy! It’s the right amount of macronutrients combined with metabolism friendly ingredients.
- Quinoa is keeping this soup gluten free, yet high in slow release, high protein carbohydrates. Another pretty interesting fact about quinoa (especially in the spring) is that it contains the flavonoid quercetin- this might mean nothing to you, but if you have seasonal allergies, and they have begun to kick in, the compound quercetin is going to be beneficial for you. Quercetin has antihistamine properties, which helps reduce allergy symptoms.
- The mild spices in this soup make what was a boring old vegetable/ lentil soup, a flavour punched soup. Cumin is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, but the one that stands out the most is its iron content. 2 tsp of cumin contain 16% RDA Iron– so this is a great meal replacement for those who need more iron in their diets. It also contains turmeric, which has been popularized lately for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Consuming turmeric in meals rather than on its own is always a better option considering the nutrient availability when consumed with other foods.
- If you are not a salad lover, then consuming soups that have a high vegetable content can be a way forward for getting in your daily dose of all the vitamins and minerals. Veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are great for all of your body systems.
- To us, cooked kale tastes much better then raw kale. Raw kale (if not massaged before consumption) has a very bitter taste- as do collards and chard- so cooking it down will get rid of some of that bitterness and allow for it to absorb the flavours. If you aren’t a kale fan, guess what- you can hardly taste it in this soup
OUR HOT TIP: Want a thick creamy soup? Take everything except for the quinoa and blend it together. The lentils will make it creamy, and you wouldn’t even know that there are veggies in it. Add in the quinoa after for texture.
Balancing Quinoa Lentil Soup
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 carrot large; diced
- 1 sweet potato medium; peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 3/4 cup quinoa uncooked
- 2 cups red lentils cooked
- 1 can coconut milk
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp sea salt & pepper
- 1 cup kale leaves chopped; de-stemmed and chopped
In a large pot sauté coconut oil, onions and garlic on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Add turmeric, cumin, curry powder along with diced sweet potatoes, celery and carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Add in the quinoa, lentils, coconut milk and water.
Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat. Stirring occasionally, let simmer for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are soft and quinoa is cooked. Remove lid.
Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Add chopped kale to pot and simmer for additional 4-5 minutes.
Serve with your favorite crackers and enjoy.
This recipe is courtesy of Nicolle Bergeron from Nutrition With Nicolle. Nicolle is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She has received her designation through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and pursues her passion by supporting others with their journey to bring real food back to the table.
Check out Nicolle on facebook at Nutrition with Nicolle or follow her on twitter @nwithnicolle!