Recipes by Sarah Gardner: Curried Lentil and Quinoa Soup

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Curried Lentil and Quinoa Soup

This spicy soup is perfect for spending a cozy night at home away from the cold winter nights.  This recipe makes a huge amount of soup so it can easily be halved or you can freeze some and save it for later. Of course, if you’re not a fan of spice you can always leave out the chilli peppers, use less or for extra spice add another one! You can use canned tomatoes for convenience sake and leave out any of the veggies or add anything extra that you may enjoy.

Ingredients

1 tbsp Oil 1 Chopped Onion, Chopped 4 Cups Rainbow Carrots, Chopped 4 Celery Stalks, Chopped 4 Large Tomatoes, Diced 4 Potatoes, Chopped (with or without the skin) 6 Cups Stock or Water 2 Cups Lentils (any colour) 1 ½ Cups Quinoa (any color) 2 tbsp Cilantro, Roughly Chopped 1 tbsp Garlic, Minced 1 tbsp Ginger, Peeled and Chopped 2 tbsp Curry Powder 2 Red Chillies, Finely Chopped

 

Directions

  1.  Sauté your onions, carrots, potatoes, and celery in oil in a large pot. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic and ginger. Continue to sauté until the onions become translucent and the veggies begin to somewhat soften up.
  2. Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil add your curry powder and chillies, turn heat down to a low simmer and cover.
  3. Cook until the veggies have reached your desired level of firmness (I like mine soft but with a bit of crunch) and then add the cilantro, quinoa and lentils.
  4. Cover and continue to let the soup simmer until the lentils and quinoa are cooked (about 15 minutes). Serve hot! Soup can also be garnished with extra cilantro and a spoonful of sour cream.

 


A Few Nutritional Notes:


 

Rainbow Carrots:

  • You're probably wondering why I use rainbow carrots instead of just regular ones. While regular orange carrots are great - full of vitamin A and good for the health of our eyes - each of the differently coloured carrots offers its own unique benefits. The red ones are full of lycopene which is good for our cardiovascular health and helps protect against certain cancers, yellow has extra nutrients for our eyes, and purple are packed with antioxidants! I find these carrots weekly at the farmer's market.

Quinoa:

  • Very high in protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids our bodies need) so it makes a great vegetarian substitute for meat – especially since it’s cholesterol-free and low-fat.
  • It’s gluten free.
  • It’s a good source of iron, fibre, riboflavin (a member of the B-vitamin family and has been recently shown to reduce migraines) and magnesium (which is good for your cardiovascular health as it helps to control blood sugar levels).

Lentils:

  • High in fibre which helps reduce blood cholesterol and maintain steady blood sugar levels which in turn is good for your heart.
  • They're full of folate (also good for your heart and reducing your risk of heart disease) and magnesium (again, good for the heart and helps ward off migraines).
  • This is a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians; lentils contain the third highest levels of protein in any legume or nut.
  • Because of the high fibre, iron, and protein content, lentils will promote a sustained, slow-burning energy level instead of giving you an "energy rush."