When Summer comes around, I crave lighter foods, but often have a tough time listening to my body and am instead stuck in the Winter ritual of having a hefty evening meal that I may or may not even be hungry for. So, usually, I make the transition to lighter foods my putting together hefty soups that are devoid of the usual suspects – milk, creams, or white flour/butter-based roux – and instead focus on vegetables, healthy grains, and greens. The following recipe for a curry lentil soup is more than just that – it includes Swiss chard, red pepper, and chickpeas to round out the nutrition and texture. You’ll love it, walking away both full and light! Enjoy.
Dip into the glow:
Lentils: are an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, effectively helping to prevent digestive and cardiovascular disorders. They also contribute to lowering cholesterol and maintaining blood sugar levels. Low on the glycemic index, lentils release their sugars slowly, keeping you fuller and more balanced for longer.
Chickpeas: contain molybdenum, which helps to detoxify the sulfites accumulated in the body from drinking wine and eating luncheon meats, are a great source of iron, copper, zinc and magnesium, are packed with fiber, help to lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar levels and are a low-fat, complete-protein food.
Swiss Chard: is most popular in Mediterranean cuisine but is found almost everywhere. It is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C and is a great source of magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber. It contains just 35 calories per cup and provides 300% of the daily value of vitamin K in the same serving. It contains oxalates, however, which can decrease the body’s absorption of calcium and lead to kidney stones. That’s why it is important to rotate your greens and not just focus on one, including Swiss chard, each and every day.
Vegan Curry Lentil Soup
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 1/3 cup fine bulgur rice
- 1 can (15-1/2 oz.) garbanzo chickpeas
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 bountiful stalks of Swiss chard, just the leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, whole
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
Add the olive oil to a pot heated to medium-high. Add carrot, onion, and red bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chard and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add the lentils, bulgur, chickpeas, garlic, soy sauce, curry, salt, pepper and cumin. Mix for a few minutes until evenly combined and then pour in 6 cups of water.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and close the pot with a lid. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until the grains, chickpeas and vegetables are adequately cooked through.
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