I will say it loud and clear, I LOVE TO COOK AND I LOVE TO EAT. Cooking allows me the freedom to make just what I like and want to eat. I hear this over and over ...it takes to long to make healthy food, all the shopping, chopping and prep.
I have a few tips to make cooking at home FUN, think creative, you are creating something that should taste and look good enough to eat.
Set the tone! Start with a well-organized workspace and for me that means music on, tea kettle on or glass of wine, ingredients, knives and pots on the counter, ready to be used.
Have a well-stocked pantry. A cupboard filled with canned tomatoes, canned and dried beans, coconut milk, nuts, seeds, honey, maple syrup and an assortment of spices.
My fridge always has veggies like carrots, red and green cabbage, celery, onions, shallots, white and sweet potatoes and garlic. Fruits like bananas, apples. pears, lemons, limes and I always have an avocado or two ripening on the counter.
In my freezer are bags of frozen fruit for smoothies, vegetables like corn, peas and chopped spinach that can be added last minute to soups and stews.
During the week I fill in with the fruits and veggies that have a shorted shelf life.
Now on to this soup recipe. I love this soup because you can make this with what you have in your pantry and it’s easy to substitute the veggies. If you don’t have fresh spinach in the fridge, frozen works or any fresh leafy green veggies, like kale or chard. As for the rest of the ingredients I used red lentils for fibre, (and they cook up fast) and added the turmeric for the beautiful colour and its antioxidants. The coconut milk gives it the creamy texture and the dark leafy greens are a good source of many vitamins.
So with a bit of creativity and smart shopping you can stock your pantry and fridge and start cooking healthy beautiful meals filled with good ingredients and most important your LOVE..best ingredient ever.
Yellow Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
Makes 6 servings.
This soup will warm and fill you up with all that is good for you.
olive oil for sautéing
1 large onion, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 can tomatoes, with juices, 26 ounce tin
1 can coconut milk, 15 ounce tin
1 cup uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
6 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tsp salt, or more to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste,
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste, (I like a little heat so I used more)
2 cups baby spinach, kale or swiss chard chopped and remove the stems if using kale or chard
squeeze of lime juice, add just before serving
1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, or until you smell all the spices.
3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), can of coconut milk, red lentils, water or broth, salt, and pepper and cayenne pepper.
4. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
5. Once soup starts to boils, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
6. Add in the spinach or whatever green you choose.
7. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If soup is to thick add more water or broth.
8. Just before serving add a squeeze of lime or serve on lime wedges on the side.