You know the lyrics…
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love. Every song you hear seems to say….
Eat pies. And cake. Now try this ham with maple glaze. Wash it down with some fudge.
This time of year is TERRIBLE for healthy eating. Cookies, pies, meat-heavy dishes, hot chocolate, copious amounts of red wine, and cheese plates are everywhere. Making good choices is difficult and overindulgence becomes a habit.
I’ve overindulged one too many times already (and we’re only half way through December!). The thought of another Snickerdoodle gives me hot and cold sweats and the sight of eggnog sends a wave of nausea through my entire body.
It’s times like these that I make a trip to a place I love but usually avoid–Whole Foods. Not that there’s anything wrong with Whole Foods. I just try to shop at local farm stands and farmers markets instead of chain stores. But this time of year, my favorite places are shut down for the winter months.
Walking through the front doors of Whole Foods, I am overjoyed to see the amount of fresh, local, and organic produce they offer; I swear I can hear angels singing (or is that Taylor Swift?). Kale, beets, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots–I grab them all.
I am a little dumbfounded, almost starstruck, when I visit the beans and grains section. So many choices! Such pretty colors! I bag up some lentils in hopes of making a healthy soup to get me through the week.
The resulting soup was so rich and flavorful that I never missed the lack of meat or Snickerdoodles. Although I will admit one thing–this soup goes great with a bold red wine.
I’ve-Overindulged-One-Too-Many-Times Red Lentil Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (you can find it in most grocery stores)
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups red lentils, picked through and rinsed
8 cups stock (any kind, I used turkey stock)
Juice of one lemon
Heat oil in dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the chili garlic sauce, stirring constantly for a few seconds. Add onion, carrots and garlic. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
Add the spices, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. Stir. Add the broth and lentils. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Add the lemon juice and give it a good stir. Top with chopped parsley or cilantro.
This soup is my new favorite, because it came together so easily, but tasted complex. It thickens quite a bit and could easily pass for a side dish with fish or chicken.