How to make healthy choices every day

Reader Request: My Favorite Recipe – Four Corners Lentil Soup

I have had so many requests for my favorite recipe, that it’s high time I make the big reveal! I have no idea how the idea for this delightful soup even got into my hot little hands, but I have always been a huge fan of Indian Daal (lentil soup) and I suppose I just figured out how to make my own version after devouring it countless times at restaurants.
This soup is always my “back-up” for when I have last-minute company over, since I can keep all of the ingredients on hand, and it is by far the most requested recipe whenever I serve it. And the reason I call it Four Corners Lentil Soup? Because I know for a fact that this recipe has been made on every major continent on planet earth. I have friends living all over the world, and each one of them cooks it on a regular basis! From the busy streets of Singapore, to the remote wilderness of northern Ontario, from the scorched deserts in the American southwest, to the rainy seasides of Denmark, this soup really has traveled the four corners! So simple to make, highly nutritious and packed with flavour, this lentil soup is an economical crowd pleaser that will warm the hearts of anyone you serve it to, most importantly, yourself!

For the Love of Lentils
Lentils are a great legume for impatient people! They cook in a very short amount of time and require no pre-soaking like other pulses do. They have a velvety texture and delicate flavour – perfect for purées and soups. I often add blended lentils to soups or stews to make them creamy without the cream! They are low in calories, virtually fat free, but very filling because of their high fiber content.

In addition to providing the body with slow burning complex carbohydrates, lentils can increase your energy by replenishing your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with lentils is a good idea – especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, lentils are not rich in fat and calories.

Four Corners Lentil Soup
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed very well
1 large onion, or a couple leeks, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced ginger root
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 15 oz. can of tomatoes; or 4 large, fresh tomatoes, chopped
4 cups stock
salt to taste
1 un-waxed, organic lemon

1. Rinse the lentils very well until the water runs clear.
2. Heat oil in a medium pot and sauté onions, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes until soft. Add a pinch of salt.
3. Add spices and stir for another minute or so, until fragrant.
4. Add tomatoes, 3 slices of lemon and rinsed lentils, then add vegetable stock. Stir well.
5. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Squeeze in the rest of the lemon juice.
6. Serve hot with some cilantro, green onions or parsley on top with a slice of lemon. Delicious!

Serves 4.

Hey…let’s keep this soup traveling! Let me know where you are in the world and maybe I’ll stop by for a bowl someday. It is my favorite, after all.

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