This soup is a “warming of the soul” kind of soup, with its subtle flavors of Indian spice. The fresh basil, cilantro and lime gives it a nice fresh depth of flavor.
This is a versatile soup. You can leave it as is or puree it with the kale, basil and cilantro or puree and add them after. You could also puree half and mix it back in.
I like this soup with a dry or ever slightly sweet white wine like a Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc or a white Rioja.
Recipe: 6 – 8 Servings
- 2 Cups French Green Lentils
- 8 Cups Filtered Water (or vegetable stock)
- 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
- 1/2 Onion – diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic – minced or pressed
- 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
- 1 Bullion Cube – unsalted (omit if using vegetable stock)
- 1 Tablespoon Turmeric
- 1Teaspoon Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 Teaspoon Gram Marsala
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cayanne Pepper
- 1 Can Coconut Milk – full fat
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Basil – or to taste- minced
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro – or to taste- minced
- 2 Cups Kale – about 6 leaves – rib removed, thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice – or to taste
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
In a large 5 1/2 quart pot, add the lentils, rinse thoroughly and strain. Add the lentils back to the pot, add the water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium for 20 – 25 minutes or until lentils are soft but not mushy.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic stirring frequently until onions are soft and translucent and the garlic is slightly caramelized, about 10 – 12 minutes.
Add the bullion and wine; reduce until wine is syrupy about 2 minutes.
Add onion mixture to the pot of lentils and add the spices, coconut milk, basil, cilantro, kale (wash the kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding off the leaves then chop in to thin strips), lime, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then turn down to medium and cook another 10 minutes, or until hot.
Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy. A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements. Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy. They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.
Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease. It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver. It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.