Years ago when we used to work in the bakery, Adam and I would have soup every day for lunch. Every day for 6 or 7 years we would sit down together on our lunch break and eagerly inhale the complimentary fresh sourdough and the best lentil soup like there was no tomorrow. It was often the first real meal of our day and the only few minutes we had to sit down all shift. It was all ours. Yet like all routines, in time, it becomes both a comfort and a burden. How we were able to become resentful of free organic meals, I will never know, but by the end of our stint there, we both fell out of love with soup. Hard.
It's taken me nearly two years of not eating soup round-the-clock to finally come to the realization that it simply is the best lunch of all time. I crave it daily. When Adam asks what I want for supper, I always respond 'soup', to which he responds with claims that's what I always say ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Over the last few months, I've been dealing with some non-serious health-related issues, something I alluded to earlier here. After some fasting and testing, I was discovered that I was anaemic, which explained a lot to me, and I will discuss more in the future, as well as suffering from some autoimmune issues.
The combination of iron supplements (I take this vegan one) with my autoimmune issues (and possible food intolerances I've yet to pin down) means that my tummy is more sensitive than usual. Meals I used to turn to for ease no longer sit with me the way they used to. But soup, oh but soup!
WHY SOUP IS THE ULTIMATE SUPERFOOD
While I've often heard people say 'soup is for sick people', I beg to differ. Yes, soup is easy on my stomach, warm, and comforting when you're feeling less than stellar. But it's also a great meal to keep in the fridge for a fuss-free dinner. It's completely flexible and allows great space for improvisation, something which is perfect for people like me who cannot follow a recipe. And in these days where everyone is pushing $30 smoothie powders, I feel like this is uncool of me to say, but soup is so inexpensive to make! Meaning you're not only getting so much nutritional bang for your buck but also saving some money for important things (like student loan payments.... 😐 )
This lentil soup is unlike most other lentil soups we make as it is made with red lentils, which are split (called dal) and end up turning the creamiest consistency. Lots of dill and lemon juice adds brightness which helps to liven up the dish, making it perfect for spring and cool summer evenings.
***I know a lot of you don't eat white potatoes, so try subbing yam, sweet potato, or more carrots. In lieu of spinach, chopped kale or chard makes a great substitute***
- 1 Tbsp. Coconut or Avocado Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
- 1 Cup, Chopped Leek
- 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Diced
- 2 Small Yellow Potatoes, Chopped (approximately 1 Cup)
- 3 Carrots, Chopped
- 5 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 Tbsp. Dried Dill
- 1 tsp. Dried Thyme
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Coriander
- 1 Cup Red Lentils, picked over
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/2 Lemon + 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 2 Cups Packed Spinach
- Lemon Slices
- Fresh Dill
- Feta or Vegan Feta
- In a medium pot heat the oil to medium low and add the onion and leeks. Stir them and let them sauté for 5 minutes, or until they begin to become tender.Add the garlic and celery and cook for a few more minutes until the flavours mingle.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, stock, spices, and lentils. Cover and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, string intermittently.
- Once the lentils and veggies are cooked, season with the sea salt. Take the seeds out of 1/2 of a lemon and slice it into paper-thin sections.
- Add the lemon slices to the soup (peel and all) and let cook for a few more minutes to help them soften.
- Take the soup off the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of lemon juice and the spinach. Serve immediately with any garnish you like.