Red Lentil Roots Soup

Red Lentil Roots Soup

Red Lentil Roots Soup

Welcome to Autumn. The season of harvest and the fruition of spring and summer - the seeds we have sown, will now reap! This goes for us too. The effort we put into our health over the summer months pays off in winter. Just as the food we reap is stored for winter, our own personal investments into our health and well-being start to pay off as we look to our immune health.

Autumn is a good time to clean our bodies, as we do in spring, and we may still eat lighter in early Autumn before stodgier foods come in. In the Chinese system, the metal element is associated with the lungs and large intestine within the Autumn season. Removing pollutants by detoxing and cleansing these areas make way for better immunity over the winter, leaving us less susceptible to infections and stomach bugs. If your ability to handle and eliminate waste is weak, garbage piles up inside the large intestine. A common cold is often experienced as an expression from the sinuses and lunges, but it can also indicate a need to eliminate waste and a problem with the large intestine.
Autumn is a great way to incorporate lots of vegetables juices, broths and soups. The addition of some immune boosting herbs and spices is another way to boost our immunity. Autumn is also a time for family focus, not only nourishing all family members but taking more time to connect, indoors and outdoors, with more time for rest and recuperation. The power of rest and reduced stress, can itself be extremely empowering for our immune systems.
Root vegetables in the form of squash, carrots and parsnips are gathered at Harvest, and combined with legumes offer fiber rich foods, essential for removing waste from the body and keeping the large intestine healthy.
Garlic is important for the lungs, facilitates cleansing, has anti-fungal properties, and has been shown to be effective for lung ailments, skin problems and warding off epidemic infections.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent modulator of the immune system - shown to exert immunomodulatory effects on several cells and organs of the immune system. There is a wealth of research with many positive associations to our health.
Fresh bone broth is worth the effort at this time of year. Research has been shown it can help to seal openings in the gut that may lead to an overactive and eventually weakened immune system. In other words, a healthy, intact gut has a strong correlation to immunity. If you are feeling under the weather, make sure you have some to hand. Remember what your grandmother used to tell you – chicken soup is good for the soul!

Serves 6

1 cup of dried red lentils (soaked overnight and rinsed)
2 large onions, diced
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tsp turmeric, ground
1 bay leaf
1 liter of homemade bone broth or vegetable stock, plus extra water
½ tsp cayenne pepper, ground (optional)
2 tsp Himalayan/sea salt
½ tsp Black pepper, ground

This is great to make in an instant pot but if you don’t have one, add all the ingredients to a large saucepan.
Add enough water so that the combined stock and water level is a good 2 cm above the ingredients and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 45 minutes or until the lentils are vegetables are soft. Add more water if needed and do stir now and again to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan.
How you enjoy the soup, thick or runnier will determine how much water to add but do ensure there is enough liquid to cook the vegetables and lentils until soft.
Once ready, remove the bay leaf and blend half the soup in a blender before mixing back into the chunky soup.

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