I had an inspiring weekend at the NYC Vegetarian Festival. I met lots of wonderful vegetarians and vegans with helpful tips to share! The most interesting part of the conference for me was a talk called “Crushing Heart Disease-A Healthy Sexy Heart” by Robert Ostfeld. The talk reminded me of some of the more resonating facts I learned from the documentary Forks Over Knives, such as how harmful meat is to our bodies if eaten regularly over the long term. It reminded me of how important it is to eat lots of veggies and reduce the amount of processed foods I eat.
With this inspiration, I made a very “heart healthy” meal for dinner tonight – a giant kale salad and vegan lentil soup.
The kale salad is one of my all time favorite dinners. It is so filling that I really didn’t need the soup too, but I’m glad I made it! With the light snow falling outside this evening, it was comforting to have a warm soup cooking.
This vegan lentil soup is very low in sodium but still has an abundance of flavor. I actually made my own broth, which really decreases to sodium in a soup. This lentil soup has some Indian spices, like cumin and curry, which give it a little kick without being overpowering. The lentils are cooked until they are well done, which makes them soft and similar to the consistency of the potato in the soup. It is a warm, hearty meal that will leave you feeling satisfied and healthy.
- 2 tablespoons earth balance or olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 medium carrots
- 2 medium potatoes
- 4 stalks celery
- 8 cups veggie broth
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 1/2 teaspoon curry
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1 bouquet garni made of 3 springs of thyme and 3 springs of oregano tied together (I use the string from a tea bag)
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- Heath the earth balance in a large pot on medium high. Once the butter melts, add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic, carrots, celery, chopped potatoes, lentils, red wine and veggie broth and turn the heat up to high.
- Once the pot boils, turn the heat down to low and add the spices and bouquet (you can make a bouquet garni by placing 3 springs of thyme and 3 springs of oregano together and tying them together with a piece of string).
- Allow the pot to simmer on low for the next 30 minutes. Add the fresh parsley chopped and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve warm!