Soup is one of those meals that always makes me feel a little taken care of: even if you don't need the extra lovin', there's something comforting and lovely about a warm, easy-to-eat meal, especially when enjoyed from your favorite mug or with your favorite spoon. (Do you have either of those? I have one mug in particular I gravitate towards for certain meal occasions. It just makes things taste better. Weird? Perhaps.) ;)
Continuing this week's adventure in foods that heal and anti-inflammatory meals (and other things that are easy to eat when you can't chew after you flip your handlebars like a crazy person), here's one of my new comfy-cozy-soupy go-to's: Anti-Inflammatory Red Lentil Chard Soup with Caramelized Onions. Not particularly beautiful, but hey, neither are shiitake mushrooms and those things are delicious.
There are three reasons I dig this recipe, especially when my brain is still feeling a little womp-womp from last week:
- it's packed with protein: grounding, nourishing, rebuilding protein (thanks, lentils) which means it's extra satisfying... good news any day of the week!
- it has hidden veggies: there is a ton of chard, garlic and onion lurking in this mix, which equals a super-dose of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, plus tons of great green veggie nutrients conveniently provided in an easy to digest format. (I love salads, but sometimes all of those raw greens are a little much on the tum, no?) Also, caramelized onions (or semi-caramelized if you're short on time) make everything awesome.
did you know? onions cook differently and taste different depending on how they're cut. this recipe specifically calls for the onions to be sliced perpendicularly against the grain: this will allow them to soften and cook down into a sweeter base than if they were diced. weird, hey?
- turmeric is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory spices you can find, which makes it perfect for recovering from ailments of all kinds: muscle soreness, headaches, bruising. Plus, it's beautiful!
This comes together in less than half an hour. It makes a great weeknight meal, or a simple thing to throw together on a weekend to freeze for meals later on. Tres simple, non?
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced (against the grain) into rounds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups water + 2 bouillon cubes (or 4 cups vegan broth)
- 1 1/4 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups chard, chiffonnade
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1. Heat oil over medium in a skillet. add onions and garlic and cook over medium-low for 15-20 minutes until partially caramelized.
- 2. While these cook, bring stock to a boil. Once boiling, add lentils. Cook 10 minutes.
- 3. Use 1/4 cup stock from pot to blend onions into a puree.
- 4. Add onion puree and spices to the pot, stirring well. Cook together for 3 minutes.
- 5. Add chard, stirring to submerge, then cover and cook 5-7 minutes more until chard is wilted and flavors have mingled.
- 6. Use an immersion blender - or transfer 2 cups at a time to the food processor - and blend until smooth.
- 7. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.