You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Post-holiday blahs? Make this easy, soulful super-detox lentil soup


Post-holiday food should never be about repentance. It should be about deliciousness and healthy renewal — clean eating at its best.

That’s why, after New Year’s Eve revelry followed by an indulgent New Year’s Eve lunch (on the heels of Christmas feasts and other holiday parties), what I craved for dinner was a warming bowl of wholesome, chunky, vegan lentil-and-vegetable soup.

Happily, I’d created one a couple of weeks before — one that my family went crazy for. I decided to whip up something like it again.

It’s very easy to put together. The only work is chopping a few aromatic vegetables (onion, carrot, garlic, maybe celery) and opening a can of tomatoes. (Make sure your tomatoes don’t have sugar in them, or the soup won’t be so detoxifying.) Saute the vegetables in a little olive oil, add turmeric, coriander and herbs, then the lentils, tomatoes and water. Then just let it simmer for 50 minutes or so, till the lentils are tender and all the flavors come together.

The first one I made involved green lentils; next time I used half black lentils and half red lentils — which are softer when cooked than the green or black ones. For version 2.0, I also boosted the turmeric — which is thought to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and added ginger, for a slightly different (more Indian, maybe) flavor.

Both were delicious.

It’s a soup that can be all things to all people — or at least many kinds of people. It’s vegan. (Consider it for a meatless Monday!) It’s gluten-free. The only processed ingredients are minimally processed (a can of tomatoes and the ground spices), so it’s very clean. It’s extremely forgiving and versatile. Want to add some chopped broccoli or cauliflower, diced turnips, or last night’s leftover Brussels sprouts? Go ahead. It’s infinitely riff-able.

It’s so soul-satisfying that carnivores probably won’t miss the meat. My son Wylie, home for college for winter break, had three bowls in one sitting. If you don’t mention it’s healthy, no one will be the wiser.

Best of all, you can whip it up in a flash. Putting it together takes about 10 minutes, 15 max. In less than an hour, it’s done.

Cooking for just one or two? Make a batch, eat some tonight, then take it to work later this week in a Thermos for lunch.

———

This variation on my green-lentil and baby kale detox soup uses a combination of black and red lentils, adds ginger, boosts the turmeric (which is a powerful anti-oxidant) and coriander, swaps arugula for baby kale and omits the celery. It’s still just as delicious — and makes it obvious that the basic recipe is one you can play with and riff on. Next time I’ll probably add turnips!

WARMING LENTIL SUPER-DETOX SOUP II

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large or 3 medium carrots, sliced or roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 or 3 branches of thyme

3 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup black lentils, rinsed

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can of chopped tomatoes, including their liquid

2 1/2 to 3 cups baby arugula (about half a 5-ounce cello pack)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute till the onion is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, bay leaves and thyme and cook another two minutes or so. Stir in the turmeric and coriander and let cook another two minutes or so.

2. Add the lentils and the tomatoes (including their liquid), along with 7 cups of water and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer about half an hour to 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender (if they’re tender before half an hour is up, let it simmer the whole half hour. If it’s getting too thick, you can add another cup of water).

3. Remove the thyme branches and bay leaves and stir in the arugula, along with the salt and cayenne pepper. Let it cook 10 or 15 minutes (it’s ready when it’s delicious). Adjust seasoning and serve.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction
Jet owned by Elvis fetches $430,000 at auction

A red 1962 Lockheed Jetstar private jet once owned by Elvis Presley sold for $430,000 at a California auction featuring celebrity memorabilia on Saturday. >> Read more trending news The plane had been sitting on a New Mexico tarmac for 35 years before it was consigned for sale, GWS Auctions said. It was owned by Presley and his father, Vernon...
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay
Follow the adventures of Dallas ‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay

Welcome to another season of the beautiful disaster known as the “Bachelor” franchise. This “Bachelorette” season’s star, Dallas native and University of Texas graduate Rachel Lindsay, met her 31 suitors last week in an episode that was filled with — you guessed it — drama. Let me just start by saying that...
Finish out the holiday weekend with some art
Finish out the holiday weekend with some art

Film “Fitzcarraldo” Boat Party with the Alamo Drafthouse. Spend your Memorial Day at the Alamo Ritz for a surreal screening of Werner Herzog’s beloved film and close it out with an unforgettable boat party on scenic Lady Bird Lake with professional artists from Austin’s new opera company, LOLA (Local Opera Local Artists). &ldquo...
New records from Austin artists include Fastball, Missio and more
New records from Austin artists include Fastball, Missio and more

Austin music has been coming fast and furious in recent weeks, with releases from long-running bands, promising upstarts and talented singer-songwriters. Here’s an overview: Fastball, “Step Into Light” (33-1/3). Of all the great Austin acts who get taken for granted — and there are many, from Americana heavyweights playing weekly...
U2 makes post-concert stop at Whataburger in Houston 
U2 makes post-concert stop at Whataburger in Houston 

After another grueling concert on the road, U2 can be forgiven for acting in mysterious ways. The Irish rock ’n’ roll band finished their show in Houston on Wednesday night and decided to eat at a local Whataburger, KDFW reported. >> Read more trending news After arriving, members of the band posed for photographs with some...
More Stories