I love meals that warm you from the inside out. Meals that are good for you and your wallet. I plan on sharing cheap and healthy vegan family-friendly recipes every now and again. I’ve started making this warming split red lentil soup at least once a week now that it’s cooling down. It takes next to no time, and since there’s only the two of us, that means left-overs for the next day! Who doesn’t love left-overs?
I’ve always really enjoyed soups, but Michael needed some convincing. When we first moved out together, I was making some pretty average vegetable soups, and once he tries something and doesn’t like it, he doesn’t often give it another chance. After he tried my Miso Eggplant & Gluten Free Noodle Soup, he opened up to others fairly quickly. This one also seemed to win him over!
What I love about this recipe the most is that it’s so quick and easy to make and ends up costing around $3 per serving. You can experiment with the spices and herbs that you use to suit your pallet, but I think that the ones that I’ve selected work really well together to help keep you warm over winter. Some health benefits of split red lentils are:
- Good source of protein
- They have high levels of vitamin-B, in particular B-3 and B-12
- Rich in iron
- Full of fibre
- Stabilise blood-sugar levels
- Very low in fat
- Rich in complex carbohydrates
With all those benefits, what’s there not to love about lentils!? I made this a few days ago with some diced potato in there as well, and it was quite tasty too. If you want to add it to this recipe, just add the potatoes in before the lentils. Sometimes though, it’s nice to keep things simple. It may also require a longer cooking time as the potatoes do take a while to be ready.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder or freshly grated
- 1/8 tsp chilli powder (or more if you like it hot)
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups split red lentils, soaked for a min of 1.5hrs
- 1.5 L boiling water or vegetable stock
- 2 bunches fresh coriander, chopped for the soup and some for dressing
- Salt to taste
- Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add the oil, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, turmeric and chilli powder and sauté for around 5 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add in the tomatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes.
- Once the tomatoes have softened and all the flavours have infused, add in the lentils and stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add in the water/stock 500ml at a time. This should be added every 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Simmer until the lentils have cooked through.
- Take off the heat and stir in the coriander.
- Add salt to taste and dress with coriander just before serving.
It’s nice served with some warm bread and/or fermented vegetable salad.
What types of meals do you like to make when you’re on a budget but still want something healthy in winter? Soups most definitely seem to be the go-to meal in our house!