Lazy Sunday: Lentil and Vegetable Soup

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday in the winter is to put on some good jams and make soup to relax with on the couch afterward and watch a good movie.  Slow Sundays at their finest. This soup was so ridiculously easy to make, I am definitely throwing it into my list of go-to recipes. Tis the season for baked goods and spiked beverages and was craving all the nutrient replenishment today. To make it easy on digestion I skipped any grains and went straight for the sweet potatoes for starch nutrient rich lentils for protein and some grass-fed butter (or olive oil) for healthy fats.  Kale, carrots and celery were added for vegetables and turmeric for anti-inflammatory goodness. 

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If you haven't felt it yet, the holidays are most certainly in the air. We have been a bit confused in San Francisco as of late, with the California sun bringing warm temperatures above 60 degrees well into December. I am definitely not complaining but there is something nice about bundling up and going for evening strolls to look at all the lights.  Last night was actually our first Christmas party we had been to this year (hello homemade apple cider and chocolate crinkle cookies) and tonight we are rolling to a Scandinavian Christmas dinner at Plaj Restaurant with a group of friends to get festive.  I still cannot believe that Christmas is a week away. This girl is usually deep into soup making by now. Thankfully it has cooled a bit to the 50s and I am stocking up on broth and diving into my favorite cookbooks for recipes.  

This recipe is adapted from Sprouted Kitchen's Everyday Lentil Soup with a few tweaks of my own. I took the garlic and onions out as my stomach no me gusta, switched up some spices and added more liquid so that it was more of a soup than a stew. I also played around with some toppings that I though paired nicely with this bowl of goodness (you guessed it, my favorite sheep's milk yogurt). Here is the recipe so that you can play around with my version and enjoy it this week before diving into your family holiday traditions. 

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INGREDIENTS:
4 cups chicken or veggie broth (I used Bonafide Provisions Chicken Broth)
2 cups filtered water
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 medium white sweet potato, peeled
2 stalks of celery
1/4 teaspoon each of garlic powder, dried oregano, dried parsley and dried thyme (1 tsp. Italian herbs)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup green lentils
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. unsalted garss-fed butter (I used Kerrygold) or olive oil for vegan
3 cups roughly chopped curly kale

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley, for garnish
1/2 grated manchego cheese or 2 scoops sheep milk yogurt (can be made vegan using a dairy-free yogurt)
Jilz Crackerz for soup dipping

METHOD:
Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven until warm.  Add in the celery, carrots and sweet potato, sauté for 5 minutes.  Add in all the spices except for the turmeric. Give another stir or two.  Add in the lentils, the broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover to cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the lentils cook down.  Remove from heat and pulse half of the soup in a blender.  Pour back into the rest of the soup in the dutch oven. Stir in the kale, the butter or oil and the turmeric until the kale wilts and the butter melts. Add more water if needed to thin out. Divide into bowl and serve with grated cheese or yogurt topping with parsley for garnish.  ENJOY!

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Molly Alliman