Coconut, Lentil & Cardamom Soup
This is a homely, warming and filling bowl of comfort with spices that are great for boosting digestive health. I like to add spinach leaves at the end and just let them wilt so that they retain their nutrients.
1 portion gives you:
fat 7.2g (of which saturates 5g)
carbohydrate 40.3g (of which sugars 11.7g)
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time 35 minutes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, quartered lengthways and sliced
1 large celery stick, thinly sliced
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tsp garam masala
4 cardamom pods, split
1 tsp ground turmeric
175g red split lentils
500ml good-quality, low-salt vegetable stock
500ml unsweetened coconut drinking milk
a few handfuls of baby spinach leaves (optional)
a squeeze of lime
cracked black pepper
For the roasted beetroot raita (optional)
1 roast beetroot, peeled and diced
6 tbsp thick plain live yoghurt or dairy-free alternative
1 tsp nigella seeds
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Next, add the carrots, celery, ginger, garlic, bay leaves, spices and lentils and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. Pour in the stock and coconut milk and bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer, part-covered with the lid, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and turning mushy. You can serve the soup chunky at this point.
Alternatively, if you want to serve it puréed, pick out the bay leaves and cardamom – these are quite easy to find as they rise to the top. Season with pepper and, if you like, stir in a few handfuls of spinach and let them cook in the heat of the soup, then purée until thick and smooth. If serving the soup topped with the beetroot raita – it adds a wonderful colour contrast – mix all the ingredients together and place a large spoonful on top of the soup, then finish with a good squeeze of lime and a grinding of black pepper.
Extracted from Fit in 3: The Scandi Plan by Faya Nilsson (Sphere, approx €20). Photograph by Kate Berry.