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Thai Coconut Lentil Soup

As we head into the New Year, here’s a truly delicious and nutritious soup that’s good for your waistline and your health.  Studies show that soup can help satisfy hunger, reduce calorie intake, and promote weight loss more than other foods.  This soup is loaded with good-for-you ingredients.  Lentils are one of the healthiest foods on the planet – rich in folate, fibre, protein, iron, potassium, zinc, and much more.  Red peppers are all-stars when it comes to vitamin C.  Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and plant compounds that help fight cancer, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.  The coconut milk adds great flavor and creaminess to the soup, but be sure to buy “light” brands that are calorie and fat reduced.  Although there’s been a lot of hype around products made from coconut, most health organizations and health experts believe these products should be consumed in limited amounts due to their saturated fat content.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 smaller servings (1 ½ cups/365 mL) or 4 larger servings (2 ¼ cups/540 mL)

 

Ingredients:

1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups (1 L) no salt added chicken or vegetable broth

1 ½ cups (365 mL) light coconut milk

19 fl oz (540 mL) canned lentils, drained and rinsed

2 cups (500 mL) cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp (15 mL) ginger, minced

2 tsp (10 mL) Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp (2.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lime juice

Zest of one lime

½ cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Tips & Suggestions: 

If using canned lentils, look for lower sodium brands and rinse well before adding to soup (rinsing reduces the sodium content by as much as 60%).  If you want to use dry lentils instead of canned, add about ¾ cup (175 mL) of uncooked lentils to the recipe, along with an extra ¼ tsp (1 mL) of salt.

Directions:

  1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
  2.  Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
  3.  Add chicken or vegetable broth, coconut milk, lentils, mushrooms, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  4.   Simmer on low with lid closed for about 10 minutes (simmer for 20 to 25 minutes if using dry lentils instead of canned).
  5.   Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro. Add a bit extra salt if necessary.
  6.   Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving (1 ½ cups/365 mL):  171 calories, 6 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 305 mg sodium, 21 mg carbohydrate, 3 g sugars, 4.5 g fibre, 8 g protein

 

P.S.  If you make this soup, be sure to let me know how you like it and share the recipe with your friends.

 

References:

Flood, J. and Rolls, B.  “Soup preloads in a variety of forms reduce meal energy intake.”   Appetite. 2007 Nov;49(3):626-34.

Eyres, L., et al.  “Coconut oil consumption and cardiovascular risk factors in humans.”  Nutrition Reviews. 2016 Apr;74(4):267-80.

 

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Liz

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