Friday, January 16, 2015

Red Lentil Anti-Inflammatory Soup

This warming soup takes advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, turmeric and coconut as well as the immune boosting power of lemongrass, onion, and garlic. If you can not find lemongrass, you can subsitute for it with the zest of one lemon.

It's perfectly satisfying topped with green onions, sesame oil, gomashio or cilantro or served alongside brown rice.

Red Lentil Anti-Inflammatory Soup topped with gamashio

Red Lentil Anti-Inflammatory Soup
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 white/yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, diced (your choice to include the seeds or not)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 cup red lentils, sorted and rinsed
3 cups water
one 15 oz can of coconut milk (light or regular)
1 tsp sea salt
juice of 1/2 lime

In a soup pot, saute onion, garlic and peppers in coconut oil until onions are translucent. Then add ginger, lemongrass, turmeric and bay leaves and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add lentils and water, bring to a low boil then simmering 25 minutes to cook the lentils. At this point, add the coocnut milk and simmer another 5 minutes before adding sea salt and lime juice just before serving.

Gomashio is a Japanese condiment that I frequently use over rice, stir-fry and soups. I first learned how ot make it from the fabulous chef and homeopath, Betsey Beaven. I have since lost her recipe and thus have been "winging it" with this combination:

1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt

Roast the sesame seeds and sea salt in a dry (not oiled) skillet over medium heat until fragrant and golden (3-4 minutes). Stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the seeds.
Remove from heat and let the seeds cool a bit before using a spice grinder to grind the mixture into a sawdust texture (not a fine powder, more like the texture of wheat germ or lightly ground flax seeds).
Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.