Spring this year in Southern California has been hot, cold, hot and cold and I’m so confused. I keep swapping our down comforter for the cotton one only to replace it the following day with down again. Well, this crazy Spring weather is perfect for this light, healthy, vegan and gluten-free Coconut Red Lentil Soup. It’s warming spices, sweet coconut milk and bright spinach feels like you are eating sunshine in a bowl. I don’t often think of soup in the Spring but this uplifting soup really hits the spot.
The Benefits of Cooking Soup
If you are not yet a fan of soup, this recipe may change how you feel. Once you yield to soups allure, you will be sold on their magic. Eating soup daily is more common in other cultures like Miso soup in Japan, Caldo Verde in Potugal, Rasam in India, Tom Yum in Thailand and Pho in Vietnam! Are you getting hungry yet?
Here are some of the benefits soup can offer:
- Soups are a Great Way to Start Cooking. When I first began to cook, I made soups. Unlike baking, which requires precision and alchemy, soup recipes are loose and forgiving. In other words, they are hard to mess up (except the time I ruined a delicate carrot ginger soup by adding too much pepper- yikes).
- You’ll have Many Meals. When making soup, a little (effort) goes a long way. Prepare a large pot on Sunday and enjoy it all week. Leftover soup tastes even better as the flavors meld and marry. (Except Miso soup since the vegetables get soggy. If re-heating Miso, keep the vegetables separate and add them just before serving).
- Soups are Healthy and Filling. Restaurant and canned soups are loaded with unfavorable ingredients so it’s important to make your own. This allows you to add vibrant greens, fresh herbs, and protein rich quinoa or lentils. In Peru, a healthy bowl of soup is often served before each meal. Filling up on soup means eating less of the pizza or french fries that follow.
- Soups Deliver Sneaky Vegetables. If you don’t LOVE veggies as much as I do, then soups help you get more fresh carrots, celery, herbs, spinach, chard, mushrooms, etc. into your diet.
Two More Benefits
- Soups Warm you up. Nothing better on a chilly day than a piping hot bowl of soup.
- Soups are a One Bowl Meal. Look ma – no dishes!!!!
If you are ever in doubt about recipes or simply need inspiration, Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows has never let me down. Her recipes are all vegan, healthy and easy to replicate and I’m always impressed with the results. This soup comes from her beautiful website with a few minor modifications.
Recipe: Spring Coconut Red Lentil Soup from Oh She Glows
This soup is vegan, gluten free, wheat free, soy and nut free and ideal for Springtime when you crave something hot and steaming but also light and healthy. I followed Angela’s recipe with two minor changes. 1. I subbed in coconut milk for coconut cream (for a lighter soup) and 2. I roasted my own **tomatoes instead of using canned.
**To roast tomatoes turn oven to broil and place 6-8 medium size tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with tinfoil. Place tomatoes on a rack close to the broiler and roast until blackened (6-8 minutes). Using tongs, turn the tomatoes over roast the other side for another 7 minutes or so. Remove blackened skins and lightly pulse in a blender.