Friday, March 28, 2014

Curried Basmati and Beluga Soup

When it comes to packing lunches, my mom and I love to travel the world through a variety of soups and stews. It's not just a Winter thing either - in the Spring and Summer when the produce starts looking healthier and coming down in price, we stock up and I get into the kitchen with more of an inspiration than a recipe as my roadmap. With the fresh flavours of the garden as a strong backbone, it's child's play to pick a "theme" of flavours and run with it - allowing us to travel the world with nothing but a spoon.

Sadly, it's not quite warm enough for the tender crops to grow yet, and it will be at least July before the peppers, zucchini and tomatoes are starting to come out in the garden (if we're lucky). However, the hardy crops like carrots, storage onions and celery are omnipresent in the stores, and almost always economical "fillers" for a bowl of soup. Likewise, the bulk foods aisle (or store) is packed with cheap, healthy inspiration with it's bevy of whole grains, dried legumes ad spices. Making those items into the cornerstones of my latest batch of soup, I managed to simmer my way into a fragrant, lightly spicy pot of Indian flavour. Brown Basmati rice thickened the vibrant yellow broth that was filled with carrots, onion and celery, pairing beautifully with the tiny black lentils. I love using black lentils in soup and stews like this because they hold their shape, unlike red lentils and split peas which tend to disintegrate with cooking. Don't get me wrong - a red lentil pureed potage is perfectly delicious when you're aiming for that, but with so many other "chunky" things going on in this I wanted the texture to remain. A simple but effective finish of fresh ginger and tamari heightened the spice and umami while keeping all the other flavours bright. It's a deliciously healthy way to warm up your surroundings and forget that there's still snow on the ground outside!

Curried Basmati and Beluga Soup

Shared with Wellness Weekend and Gluten Free Fridays

Curried Basmati and Beluga Soup
Makes 8 hearty servings
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large, sweet onion, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, sliced into coins
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp turmeric
10 cups gluten-free, low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup black (Beluga) lentils
1 cup brown Basmati rice
1 tsp fresh-grated ginger
1/2 tbsp tamari
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the celery and carrots and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
  5. Pour in the stock and stir in the lentils and rice.
  6. Cover and cook for 1 hour, until vegetables, lentils and rice are tender.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in ginger and tamari. Serve immediately or portion and freeze.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 227.2
Total Fat: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 300.2 mg
Total Carbs: 42.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.7 g
Protein: 9.6 g