Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Soups are a fantastic one-pot meal that packs in loads of nutrients, and can be batch-cooked for easy, make-ahead dinner prep.
Some days are just soup days. Like, when it’s a bit rainy outside, or you have the sniffles, or if you’re just looking for a really simple yet filling, one-pot meal to serve up for dinnertime.
Well, yesterday was one of those days, on all accounts.
Seeing as I hadn’t done any grocery shopping recently, and I knew that my veggie delivery box was going to show up at my doorstep the following day, I thought it would be a great time to just use up what was in the fridge.
A few of my favorite veggies for soup are onions, garlic, carrots, and celery – as these are often the ingredients in veggie stock, and give soups their aromatic flavor (without having to spend hours making a separate stock). Onions and garlic are also amazing prebiotic foods, since they contain a certain type of fiber that nourish the good bacteria in your gut. This helps improve digestive health and boost the immune system. Onions and garlic also have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so they’re definitely good to include in your daily diet to help prevent illness.
Turmeric is one of my favorite spices to cook with because it is a potent anti-inflammatory. It doesn’t have a dominant flavor, so it blends nicely with many types of dishes, and its lovely yellow color adds a bit of sunshine to any recipe you include it in.
In order to make this a filling one-pot meal, I’ve added in plant-based protein from lentils and tahini. The tahini also provides healthy fats and adds a delightful creaminess. Each person can also customize their bowl by adding a sprinkle of seeds and some wilted greens for extra nutrients and an extra crunch.
If you don’t have some of the ingredients on hand, feel free to substitute with something similar, as the purpose of this soup is to utilize what you’ve already got in the fridge. Other veggies that could probably work well here: leeks, sweet potato, squash, broccoli, or kohlrabi.
On the other hand, if you feel inspired to go out and get the ingredients, why not double the recipe and freeze half so that you also have a delicious soup ready to go for next week? Hooray for easy meal prep!
Fridge-bits hearty lentil soup recipe
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
1 celery root, peeled & chopped (or 2 celery stalks) - optional
2 large carrots, peeled & chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 cups chopped cauliflower
¾ cup orange lentils, rinsed
6 cups water
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger - optional
2 tbsp whole tahini
Toppings – sunflower or pumpkin seeds, wilted greens (e.g. spinach, swiss chard, kale)
Heat large soup pot, add oil, and wait a few minutes.
Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until slightly softened. Then, add in garlic and spices, mixing well, and sauté for another few minutes.
Add celery root (if using), carrots, zucchini, and cauliflower and sauté for about 5 minutes
Add water, and give a good mix to ensure all veggies and liquids are well combined.
Add lentils and ginger (if using), give another mix, and close the pot, turning the burner down to minimum heat. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots can easily be cut in half with the back of a spoon.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it’s completely smooth.
Add in the tahini and give everything a good mix.
If you wish to create a thinner soup, you can add more hot water, half a cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Or, if you wish to create a dal to serve over rice or grains, reduce the amount of water to 4-5 cups.