Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet Potato Green Lentil Soup

It may be spring, but it's definitely still soup weather here. It was rainy and cold all day yesterday and a hearty soup was in order to warm-up. I am one of those people who really looks forward to a cloudy, rainy, pajama day at home. Lots of slow-down time and snuggle with a book or baby time. And most of all, making a big pot of hearty soup will have you smelling goodness all day long- plus it is the best lunch and dinner without much dishes or cleanup. Yes, yes, I love rainy soup days with the promise of summer just around the corner.
I made this hearty lentil soup with a big heap of fresh green kale and some sweet and savory sweet potatoes. This soup has a nice variety of spices that will warm and heal the gut. Turmeric and ginger are a nice pair, not to mention a sweet and tangy broth to sip and slurp slowly all the way in. Which is a good reminder to eat slowly and not try and gulp down a meal in minutes. Take your time. Slow it down. Count your bites. And, even slurp a little.  
The lentils are the main protein base, but yet not overwhelmingly thick. And the colors are just gorgeous. It is a nice hue of green, yellow and orange, which seems to mirror the greens and yellows showing up on the branches and lawns outside. It seems almost like a neon green/yellow on many of the trees in my backyard. God really knew how to use nature's colors to wake us up to His creativity.
Sweet Potato Lentil Soup Recipe
2 TB of saute oil (coconut, ghee or olive)
1 large sweet yellow onion diced
4-5 garlic cloves minced
1 heaping cup of celery diced
between 1-2 cups of slivered carrots
2 sweet potatoes diced into chunks (about 2-3 cups)
2 ts. of ground turmeric
1/2-1 ts. of ground mustard seed
1/2-1 ts. of celery seed
1 ts. of ground ginger
2 heaping cups of finely chopped lactino kale
1 TB of freshly chopped sage (sub 1 ts. of dried)
1 TB of freshly chopped oregano (sub 1 ts. of dried)
1/2-1 ts. of sea salt
1/2- 1 ts. of ground black pepper
2 cups of soaked and rinsed dry green lentils
6 cups of vegetable broth
6 cups of pure water

chopped organic sausage
shredded organic chicken chunks

In a large dutch oven or 8.5 quart pot, saute the onions garlic and celery in about 2 TB of oil. Let it saute for a few minutes until tender and then add in the carrots and sweet potatoes and kale. Let those cook for just a few minutes and then add the water, broth and soaked/washed lentils. Stir well and then you can add the rest of the spices and herbs. Bring to a boil and let simmer and the lentils cook and soak up 1/3 of the broth. Depending on if I have more broth to spare or want a more soupy soup I may add more broth after the lentils cook and I see how thick the soup is at that point. I have also made this soup by adding already cooked lentils and less broth by 3-4 cups. Cook for about 50 minutes and let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. It is a perfect hearty soup meal with no other need of add in's. A heart GF roll or croutons might be a nice touch, or if you like meat adding some organic chicken sausage or meat might make it even more hearty and full of protein. Serve warm and serves about 12 people, or is a great leftover soup for lunches and dinners. 
I also love to make a big batch of soup on the weekend because it is such a simple way to stay fed and nourished when you have a busy (or relaxing) weekend ahead of you. I am a big soup and stew fan most any day of the week, but it is especially nice to not have to be slaving away in the kitchen over the weekends.

Hope you have a special weekend planned with lots of good food and love!

Much love and light to you!

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