For me, comfort food means healthy but warm and satisfying food. Soups usually do the trick, and this lentil soup is warm, filling, and absolutely delicious.
I always have a ton of lentils on hand—not because I cook them often, but because I don’t ever cook them. I love lentils, but they sometimes give me a stomach ache, depending on how they are cooked. The key is to make them more digestible by soaking them before cooking them. It helps to soften them before you dive right into the cooking. Simply pour them in a bowl, add enough water to cover them and soak for 40 minutes or more. Then rinse and cook.
Another reason I don’t cook lentils—I never really know what to do with them. Make them a side? Add other things in? I always over-think it, when really, simple is best in this case and that’s why this recipe works two ways. You cook them, add some veggies and you could stop there and have an awesome side dish (or main dish-in-a-bowl) or you can keep going and make a hearty lentil soup. Easy as can be, and comforting as can be.
Lentil and Vegetable Soup
2 cups cooked lentils
3 large carrots, chopped
1/2 yellow onion
2 celery stalks
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger (powder/ground)
1/2 tsp curry powder
2-3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Soak and cook lentils according to directions (*note, I used a rice cooker for super soft lentils that I cook while I was out teaching classes). In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Chop onions, carrots, and celery. Add to your pan and cook until soft. Add your spices and lentils to the pan and mix thoroughly. *This is where you stop if you are making sides, not soup*
Add 1/2 of vegetable and lentil mixture to your blender. Pour in your vegetable broth and blend until smooth. Stir back together with the rest of the veggies and lentils. If too thick, you can blend more of the lentil and vegetable mix. Adjust spices to taste as needed.
Serve with grilled cheese for a comforting, healthy-ish, warm-you-up-from-the-inside meal.
Jessi Andricks, author of Detox 101, is an emerging leader in the field of healthy, holistic living. Through her training in Health Coaching, Yoga, and mind-body fitness, she’s able to blend together the best of all worlds to create innovative online wellness and detox programs, such as her Flourish Series.
Jessi fuses together clean eating basics, empowering fitness, and coaching techniques to help clients can live the happy, healthy lives they deserve. Jessi is a contributor to The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen.com and has been published in Mantra Yoga+Health Magazine and Yoga Magazine.
Her mission is to help people live the happy, healthy life they deserve. Get in touch with Jessi at jessiandricks.com or HouseofHealthy.com and look for her book, Detox 101, now available in stores and online.