Red is the color of love! So to celebrate love, I’m sharing my favorite Curried Red Lentil Soup. In addition to radiating their heartfelt hue, red lentils provide a healthy dose of protein and fiber. This combination can help maintain even, sustainable blood-sugar and energy levels. They also keep you full, satisfied, and cozy in the colder months.
The best characteristic of lentils is how super simple they are to prepare! Unlike other beans, which can take hours to cook, red lentils take about twenty to thirty minutes. I like to make this soup when I want a little slice of comfort but don’t have a lot of time to spend at the stove. This soup serves four, so be sure to share it with someone you love!
Curried Red Lentil Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups chopped cauliflower florets
3 cups chopped sweet potatoes, small diced
1 cup red lentils
6 cups water
4 cups thinly chopped collard greens
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges, optional
- Place a large pot over medium-low heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder, salt, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Sauté another 2 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, lentils, and water, and stir to incorporate. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add greens and simmer for another 10 minutes or just until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the lemon juice and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
- Red Lentil Soup with Kale. Replace the chopped collard greens with kale.
- Yellow Split Pea Soup. Replace the red lentils with yellow split peas. Simmer for about 45 minutes, add the greens, and simmer an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the lentils are very soft and the greens are wilted.
- Red Lentil Soup with Greens and Corn. When the soup is nearly done cooking, add in 1 cup frozen, organic corn. The corn should heat through rather quickly. (Note: The corn is especially delicious added to the Yellow Split Pea variation.)
Taste the soup before you add the greens to make sure the lentils and veggies are almost (if not completely) done. If you add the greens too soon, you run the risk of overcooking them and depleting the nutrients.
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene (found in the orange-yellow pigment), which can protect your body from free-radical damage, boost your immune system, and may lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.
If you want to further decrease your kitchen time, consider buying pre-washed/chopped veggies. Cauliflower florets and ready-to-eat greens are available at most markets. I’ve even come across chopped onions and root vegetables. Just check the labels to make sure that they don’t contain any additives or preservatives. Of course, it will be a little more expensive to purchase pre-prepped produce, but it will help you get dinner on the table in no time.