I have the fondest memories of homemade lentil soup, or I would say dal times(in India) every evening made by my mom. I would come home from a tiring long day of school, and we were always so hungry and exhausted. A filling lentil soup was the perfect nourishment for my energy-deprived and weary body and soul.
Since we had a vegetarian household, lentils were a big part of our diet. Extraordinary nutritional value combined with exceptional economy makes this vegetarian lentil soup a winner in every way.
I want to share the best recipe for lentil soup with my readers. So here is the perfect recipe for the week as a meal and a healthy homemade snack. Feel free to modify the herbs, spices and vegetables to suit your tastes.
- Pre-cooked lentils (198 g)
- Onion, chopped (60 g)
- Tomato, chopped (82 g)
- Ginger, chopped or grated (1 tsp)
- Garlic, chopped or grated (1 tsp)
- Parsley, chopped (1 tsp)
- Dried fenugreek leaves
- Coconut oil or ghee (1 tsp)
- Himalayan Pink Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Turmeric Powder
- Red Paprika
- Heat a pan and sauté onions & tomatoes with garlic, ginger, thyme and paprika in ghee/ coconut Oil.
- Add the lentils & spices and stir for 4-5 minutes.
- Add water, simmer covered for 10-15 mins.
- Add parsley in the end and serve in a bowl.
|Dietary Fats||6 g|
|Vitamin A||418 IU|
What are Lentils?
Before we discuss the lentil health benefits, for the help of some of our unaware audience, let’s understand what lentils are?
Lentils (lens culinaris) are wholesome seeds of the legume family and come in various colors, including red, green, brown, yellow and black.
Lentils are a subcategory of legumes. Unlike beans, which are also legumes, lentils are never eaten fresh but always dried right after ripening.
They’re little super-foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat and rich in potassium, folate, fiber, and phytochemicals called polyphenols that have antioxidant activity. 1<https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332326817_Role_of_lentils_Lens_culinaris_L_in_human_health_and_nutrition_a_review>
As per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), lentils are the best, readily available and economical food sources of potassium. One cup of cooked lentils provides 731mg, which is about 16%of the daily requirement of potassium. 2<https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/>
Lentils are an abundant source of protein storage, providing essential and non-essential amino acids to our human body. Therefore, lentils are a good source of protein. For example, a ½ cup serving of cooked lentils in this soup provides about 12 grams of protein. With such high protein content, you are sure to be fueled up all day long.
Lentils also contain slow-digesting resistant starch that delays the absorption of carbohydrates with blood sugar-lowering effects and is a source of pre-biotics that may help gut health and help prevent digestive diseases. 3<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713359/>
Human studies have found that lentils may improve cholesterol levels in people with diabetes and protect against breast cancer in women. 4<https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/11/2390/htm>, 5<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4667261/>
Health Benefits Of Lentil Soup
Apart from all the lentil health benefits mentioned above, few other exciting elements in the soup that may provide various health benefits are:
With its savory flavor and bright yellow color, turmeric powder dramatically adds to this easy soup recipe. In addition, it has an active compound; curcumin is a potent antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory properties.6<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/>
It has been shown to support cognitive function, ease bloating and gas caused by indigestion, and help stabilize blood glucose levels. 7<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3288651/>
Turmeric is promoted as a dietary supplement for various conditions, including arthritis, digestive disorders, respiratory infections, allergies, liver disease, depression, and many others. 8<https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric>
Dried Fenugreek Leaves
Kasturi methi or dried leaves of the fenugreek plant are herbs with a robust and nutty flavor and used extensively in Indian household kitchens.
Fenugreek seeds and leaves have a long history of medical uses in ayurvedic and chinese medicine. They may benefit in numerous indications, including labor induction, better digestion, diabetes and triglycerides levels. 9<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11868855/>
Paprika is a bright red ground spice made from peppers that are members of the Capsicum annuum family. It may range from sweet to mild to hot in intensity, and some varieties of Paprika have a smoky flavor.
Capsaicin is the chemical found in many hot peppers that give the peppers their heat and are associated with some health benefits.
Various animal studies suggest that capsaicin-rich diets may have favorable effects on atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver, cardiac hypertrophy, hypertension and stroke risk. 10<https://www.phcogrev.com/article/2017/11/21/104103phrevphrev4816>, 11<https://openheart.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000262>
Thyme is a Mediterranean herb. The flowers, leaves, and oil are used to treat a range of symptoms and complaints.
The possible health effects of thyme and its constituents, particularly thymol and carvacrol, include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties.
Moreover, these compounds are classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), which means they can be used as an ingredient of many food products. 12<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29771598/>, 13<https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/fulltext/2016/01000/thyme__history,_applications,_and_overview_of.10.aspx>
Moreover, these compounds are classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), which means they can be used as an ingredient of many food products.
Sprinkle fresh, versatile thyme leaves on your cooked eggs, poultry, meat, seafood, salads, soups and pasta.
Parsley is a widely cultivated flowering herb, and the two types are curly-leaf Parsley and flat-leaf Parsley.
Parsley leaves are rich in vitamin K, which is an essential nutrient for optimal bone health. A single tablespoon of fresh chopped Parsley used in the recipe for the week provides about 70% of the recommended DV.
Parsley also contains a decent amount of vitamin A, C and antioxidants known as flavonoids that may help inhibit cell damage and lower the risk of certain diseases like cancer, diabetes and CVD. 14<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25738871/>, 15<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24374449/>
Parsley is an all-around, inexpensive flavoring ingredient that can be used fresh or dried in homemade soups, salad dressings, marinades, and seafood recipes.
So this easy recipe of soup has the following qualities:
- High in Polyphenols
- High in protein
- Good source of many essential vitamins and minerals
- Rich in dietary fiber
- Low in fat
All these factors make it a perfect substitute for rice and pasta and to keep us full and provide us with all the goodness one needs in the diet.
Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comments!
Sources & References