Christmas is behind us, except for those who are busy returning and exchanging gifts, or shopping all the After-Christmas-Sales. I’m not one of them, so I stayed home today. I very much appreciated the peace and quiet after all the frantic holiday craziness out in the world the last few weeks.
While I was lounging on the couch reading my new book, I was suddenly craving a big bowl of hot soup. Something brothy, clean tasting and light sounded really good! I went into the kitchen, opened the fridge and took out every single vegetable there was! Hiding amongst the leafy greens, bright orange carrots, celery, and everything else, was a small piece of turmeric root I had purchased a few days ago. Hmm, what to cook …
So I retrieved my big soup pot from the cabinet and gently warmed up a little olive oil in it …
Fresh turmeric is delightful! I scraped the thin skin off the golden-orange root and grated it on my micro plane. It will stain just about anything, so be careful. The flavor is different from the ground turmeric powder most of us are used to. Fresh it’s not nearly as strong as the dried powder in my opinion. If you see this rhizome near the fresh ginger and lemon grass in the produce section, pick some up and give it a try! Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and used regularly in many cuisines around the world.
If you’re like me and ate maybe just a few too many treats over the last few weeks, this soup might be just the antidote to sugar overload for you too. I loved the simple flavors of just a few ingredients melting together into a nourishing golden soup. I had this on the table in about 40 minutes, start to finish. This made a big pot of soup, and I am looking forward to eating another bowl of this tomorrow!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 large leek, trimmed, washed and sliced
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 3 to 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and finely grated or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- a few stems of fresh thyme or a little dried thyme leaves
- a couple of bay leaves
- 1 1/2 cups of red lentils, sorted and rinsed really well
- a vegetable bouillon cube
- a little salt and black pepper
- a chile pepper or two, poked with a knife to release the flavor without getting too much heat
- 2 large bunches of kale, rinsed and cut into small pieces
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- garlic croutons add the perfect crunch and garlicky saltiness to the finished soup
Heat a big soup pot over medium-low heat.
Add a little olive oil and then the sliced leeks.
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and gently sauté them for a few minutes.
Next, add the carrots, celery, thyme, bay leaves, chile peppers and grated turmeric.
Stir and cook until vegetables are getting a little soft.
Add the rinsed lentils to the pot and stir.
Next, add 8 cups of water and the bouillon cube to the vegetables.
Bring the soup to a boil, then turn down the heat.
Cover the pot and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.
When the lentils are starting to fall apart, add the kale.
Stir and simmer a few more minutes until the kale is just tender.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the soup and turn off the heat.
Taste, adjust seasoning and serve piping hot with a few croutons.