We got some snow this week here in Virginia, though not too many days ago it reached seventy-four degrees. It’s melting away even as we write this post, but you can maintain that feel-good winter sensation with a nice bowl of this hot Lentil Dahl soup! The snow may be too slushy to have a real snowball fight, but that doesn’t have to stop you from treating yourself and your family to a tasty, hearty soup that will warm you from head to toe.
This soup’s pea-green color may not be very pretty, but lentils are an incredibly helpful food and happen to be delicious.
Lentils have been consumed since prehistoric times and can be traced back to central Asia. They contain a good amount of soluble fiber, helping to reduce LDL cholesterol in your blood. Lentils are also high in insoluble fiber and will promote regularity, as well as make you feel more full and satisfied. They are rich in an antioxidant called flavone, which can help reduce risk of cancer. They replenish iron stores, are high in folic acid and magnesium, and lower homocysteine: a compound that can affect the arterial wall of the heart.
Lentils are easier to digest than most beans, and are more versatile to boot! Due to their small size and softness, they act as a flavorful thickener for this soup: better for those who are opposed to the texture of actual beans.
Not to leave them out, the sweet potatoes were added to this dish to give it some color and a boost of beta-carotene!
2 cups dried lentils
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon coriander
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sweet onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 sweet potatoes boiled and cubed
Cook lentils and 4 whole garlic cloves in the vegetable or chicken stock until all liquid has absorbed, about 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime add olive oil to a sauté pan and turn on low heat. Add garlic, onions, and spices and cook on low. Once onions are soft turn heat off.
Put lentils, onions and spices in a blender. Pulse until smooth, though still thick. Add vegetable or chicken stock to the blender to obtain a thick consistency.
Pour into a soup pan and add sweet potato. Heat to a medium temperature and enjoy!