Looking for a new soup recipe to warm you up this winter? Try this one from our line of soups that heal. It's packed with protein from lentils and spinach, and a delicious umami flavor from the miso. Using miso is a great way to incorporate fermented foods into your diet, which are great for gut health, and it just so happens to taste delicious thanks to those umami flavors created during fermentation. I used a soy free miso paste in this recipe made from chickpeas (see link below for brand.)
You can order some of our vegan "bone" broth for this recipe, or you can go ahead and use this dashi recipe for the broth base. This soup is also rich in fiber thanks to all the veggies and the lentils, which is essential for gut health, but also whole-body health as lack of fiber intake is linked to numerous chronic diseases.
This soup is not only delicious and comforting, but also a great way to eat more plant-based foods and improve your cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that replacing animal products with plant foods can lower LDL cholesterol, the harmful type that clogs your arteries and increases your risk of heart disease. Plant foods are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that can assist the body in calming inflammation, which is linked to many chronic diseases and aging. By eating more plant foods, you are following one of the principles of longevity nutrition, and like the notorious science food writer Michael Pollan says, “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants”.
One of the plant foods that you can use to replace some of your meat-based meals is lentils. Lentils are a type of legume that are high in protein, iron, folate, and fiber. They are also very versatile and can be used in soups, salads, curries, burgers, and more. They have a low glycemic index, which means they don't spike your blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for longer. You'll find them in Dr. Blum's healing soups like our French Lentil Soup and Butternut Lentil Bisque!
Another plant food that's used to make this soup more nutritious and satisfying is spinach. Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is loaded with vitamins A, C, K, and folate. It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Spinach is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates, which can help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that are important for eye health and may protect against age-related macular degeneration. We use spinach in Dr. Blum's Healing Tunisian Tomato Soup!
Here at Organic Pharmer, we love ginger. This beneficial herb is hard to get enough of, which is why we put it in so many of our recipes! You can find it in our Marathon and Staminator beverages, as the base of our Golden Milk, in our Wellness shots, and even in our soups including our Butternut Lentil Bisque, and our Curried Cauliflower soup. That's because ginger is a powerful detoxifier, with anti-oxidant properties as well as anti-aging benefits. It also can support gut health, and is even at times used to treat nausea. Ginger has been found to contain anti-cancer compounds, and can also help lower levels of LDL cholesterol. But we also love ginger for its unique and pungent flavor. Add it to your soup for a little bit of heat, and a lot of healing.
To increase flavor and amplify health benefits for your gut, we add some miso paste. Miso is a fermented bean paste, typically made with soybeans, that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. We use chickpea miso for a soy free alternative. (This same chickpea miso paste can also be found in our Pharmer Cheese!) It has a salty and savory taste that adds depth and umami to any dish. Miso is also a probiotic food, which means it contains beneficial bacteria that can improve your digestion and immunity. Miso contains enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that can help detoxify your body and balance your hormones.
This soup is easy to make and perfect for a cozy winter meal. You can make a big batch of it and store it in the fridge or freezer for later. You can also customize it by adding other vegetables or spices that you like. Enjoy this soup with some gluten free bread or crackers for a meal that will nourish your body and soul.
This recipe makes 4-6 servings
What you’ll need:
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or a dashi recipe)
- 1-2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 1-2 medium carrots chopped
- 1-2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsp of chickpea miso paste
- 1 cup soaked lentils (any color)
- 1 cup spinach chopped (frozen is fine)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Prepare it:
- Place a pot over medium heat and add avocado oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the onions, carrots and celery and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and sauté until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the miso paste to the pot and slowly add in the broth, stirring to incorporate the miso paste into the broth. Once most of the lumps are gone, add the rest of the broth and water.
- Add sweet potato and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and let the sweet potatoes cook for about 5 minutes.
- Next add in the lentils and cook until the lentils and veggies are tender.
- Add in the spinach and lemon right before serving and stir to combine. Taste to see if you need any salt and pepper.
We hope you enjoy this recipe from soups that heal!