I find myself getting excited about soups and warming foods as the chillier weather creeps in. At the moment I am living somewhere warm during the days, although I am at high altitude in the mountains, so it can get rather cold at night.
In some ways, maybe I am just a bit strange in that my body seems to go into some sort of shock when it gets cold in the air. I seem to get cold to the core “brrrrrr….” at which point my body refuses to warm up.
But anyway, soups come in pretty handy, providing a kick-start for my internal central heating system to kick-start itself. Soups offer welcomed nurturing. I am sure many of us can relate.
Last week, with a surplus of carrots and a few too many bags of lentils, I decided to create a tasty concoction with what I had available. I wanted ginger to have a key role in this one, not only because of its flavour, but because of its health benefits.
I am feeling the need for extra ginger at the moment to warm my system. Ginger is an excellent circulation aid. To be fair it’s a bit of a superstar in the circulation department. It stimulates the tissues within the body, whilst lowering the blood pressure. This all encourages healthy circulation. Furthermore, ginger prevents platelets from clumping together in the bloodstream, which thins the blood, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots.
Ginger helps to warm you up when you are cold too. Its circulatory, perspiration-inducing and stimulation properties mean that it can also warm you up when you are feeling chilly. So, when your body wants to start shutting down during the colder months, bring more ginger into your daily cuisine and enjoy the natural warming effect.
All in all, ginger is an excellent addition to daily cuisine. You can read more about its fabulous health benefits here: Why is ginger so good for us?
This soup is a well-rounded meal in itself.
I’ve added lentils for a good dose of plant-based protein (and of course, you’ll find amino acids in all the other ingredients too). There’s coconut milk for a healthful addition of plant-based fats. Carrots are great for fibre, vitamins, and minerals (especially beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A).
You can add additional spices to suit yourself. In today’s recipe, I have included ground coriander and turmeric.
One thing I love about this recipe is that it is very cost effective. Most people (in temperate zones at least) can find organic carrots inexpensively.
The other ingredients seem to go a long way, making it a wonderful and resourceful recipe, especially helpful if you are on a tight budget. I’ve made a meal for four here for about £5 (US$6).
- 2 medium-sized leeks
- Dash of oil
- 1 kg of carrots (or 5 large)
- 100g red lentils ( ½ cup approx)
- 750ml water (3 cups)
- 1 inch cubed fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Twist black pepper
- 400ml full fat coconut milk (1 can)
- Chop the leeks into small pieces and saute for a couple of minutes in your soup pan with the oil.
- Chop the carrots into small cubes and add to the pan.
- Add the red lentils, salt, and water and bring to the boil with the lid on.
- In the meantime, peel and finely grate the ginger and put into the pan.
- Add the turmeric (optional) and ground coriander.
- Once the contents start to boil, turn the pan down to low and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add the pepper and the coconut milk and then blend all the ingredients together using a hand blender.
- Serve right away if desired. This also keeps for a few days in the fridge and freezes well.
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