Lentil Curry Soup with Broccoli
Fresh turmeric & ginger offer anti-inflammatory benefits and an authentic Indian taste
For Sunday dinners, we try to make a really big meal in hopes that it will last us several days through the work week ahead. Eating the same meal for three to four days in a row is how we survive the busy school week with two working parents while trying to eat a whole foods diet and honor our food restrictions.
Stretching leftovers like this is not the best idea for people with histamine issues. The longer food sits around in your fridge, the more histamine it contains. I’m not too worried about the extra histamine as I can remedy that problem with quercetin. I wish we could do it differently, but given our food restrictions and time constraints, it’s just not possible in this season of life.
Thursday through Saturday dinners are usually all unique to each other, partly because we go into scrounge mode by the end of the week. Thursday and Friday dinners are the “Fend for Yourself” meals, which is what I call them to the Wendy’s Eating Husband. On these scrounge days, the kids eat a variety of things for dinner: granola with a raw veggie (usually carrots or pepper slices), a protein smoothie with raw greens, brown rice pasta with peas or broccoli cooked in the pasta water, or a baked yam. The granola days are when I’m really tired and the kids need to get in bed ASAP. Scrounge days are harder for me, as I can’t run to Wendy’s for chicken nuggets like the WEH does and I also can’t eat a bowl of whole grain pasta for dinner due to my blood sugar issues.
We really have to like the food that we eat for dinner for three to four days in a row.
I mean really, really like it. We’re usually A-OK eating it for three days, but eating it on day four does get tricky. By day four, I’m totally done with it and so is everyone else — it doesn’t matter what it is!
If we do the three day thing and we made the meal on a Sunday, that means Wednesday turns into another Fend for Yourself dinner day. I suffer on those days because my diet is more restricted than the girls’. Eating the repeat meal for one more day seems more appealing than trying to figure out something else.
My Lentil Curry Soup with Broccoli is one of our go-to meals to make in bulk at the beginning of the work week. We’ve had it in the rotation for many years, since Selah was a baby!
It’s a winner with the Wendy’s Eating Husband.
Can you believe that the Wendy’s Eating Husband eats a vegetarian meal for 3-4 days in a row!? That should tell you a lot about this soup. I’ve tried many different vegetarian dinners over the years, and there’s no other vegetarian meal that’s been approved by the Wendy’s Eating Husband! This Lentil Curry Soup with Broccoli is not just something he tolerates, but a meal he truly enjoys.
Speaking of vegetarian, I use chicken broth in the recipe, which is obviously not vegetarian. This soup is easily made vegetarian or vegan by substituting vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth. I call it “vegetarian” for the sole purpose of pointing out that the WEH is eating a meatless meal.
The recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, which you can freeze the leftovers instead of torturing yourself with repeat meals like we do. We also love to make this soup when we have guests over for dinner — it’s usually a big hit.
The Muchi curry powder gives the soup a spicy bite. We use Muchi curry powder from Frontier Natural Products Coop, which is the best curry powder blend we’ve found. If you do not like spicy, back off on the curry powder. You can try 2 Tablespoons or 2.5 Tablespoons. If you want it extra spicy, you can add in a fresh serrano pepper. Our girls won’t eat the Lentil Curry Soup with Broccoli if we add in the serrano pepper, but they enjoy it with a full 3 Tablespoons of Muchi curry powder!
Lentil Curry Soup with Broccoli
Makes 1 large soup pot, about 8 quarts
- 3 cups dried green lentils, rinsed and soaked for at least 8 hours, but preferably for 24 hours
- 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 leeks
- 1 sweet onion
- 5 garlic cloves
- ~ 1 inch piece fresh turmeric
- ~ 1 inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 4 carrots
- 2 pounds of broccoli (trim before you weigh it)
- 3 Tablespoons Muchi Curry Powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- fresh cilantro
- optional: 1 serrano pepper
- optional: 1 cup of filtered water if you want the soup thinner
- Soak the lentils overnight on the day before you’d like to make the soup.
- Chop leeks and onions. Add to a large soup pot with 1 cup of broth and cook on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, you could saute the leeks + onions in olive oil, and add the broth later. It’s healthier to steam them in the broth.
- While the leeks and onions are cooking in the broth, mince the garlic, ginger, and turmeric (and optional serrano pepper).
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, and turmeric (and optional serrano pepper) to the soup pot with the 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- While the garlic, ginger, and turmeric are cooking with the leaks and onions, chop the carrots. Add them to the soup pot with a second cup of broth. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat.
- Finely chop the broccoli while the carrots are cooking. Watch the soup pot while chopping the carrots, as the heat may need turned down a little bit. Add chopped broccoli to the soup.
- Rinse lentils thoroughly. Add them to the soup with the Muchi curry powder, the salt, and the rest of the broth (6 cups).
- Turn heat on low and cook for about 2 hours. The soup is edible at one hour, but tastes best with longer, slow cooking. If the soup is too thick to your liking, you can add 1 cup of filtered water.
- Add lemon juice to the soup immediately before serving.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.
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