It’s finally become Winter in New York. It took an extra long time this year, and I’ve been relishing in the pleasantly chill 60 degrees until now. Although it feels like the tropics in my apartment (could be worse), I’m still craving warming meals. This soup is perfect for those chilly nights when you need something to pack a punch and simultaneously shun any & all Winter colds. Luckily it also serves a crowd, so you’ll have leftovers all week or the perfect opportunity to throw a soup party (they’re real).
I’ve always loved the act of making soup, when you have the time to casually prep ingredients and let it simmer on the stove for hours. It’s one of those things, like pie-making, that require a little more effort, but if you enjoy the process rather than oppose it, the act becomes a totally different thing. Pies are obviously prettier (and a little more fun), but with soup I actually enjoy the process of cutting, peeling & dicing a ton of vegetables. It’s meditative and calming on the days when I need a little more balance in my life. Since food has always been the thing I return to when I need solace, comfort, warmth. I promise, if nothing else, this soup will taste good, but it also might just lift your spirits.
TURMERIC, CARROT & RED LENTIL STEW (Gluten-free) Serves 6-8
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 in. piece of ginger, grated or minced
- 1 lb. carrots, or 3 cups, roughly chopped
- 1 lb. kabocha squash or pumpkin, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch marjoram, tied with cooking twine
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 quarts organic vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon zatar
- 2 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 5 stalks of kale, de-stemmed and torn
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper
- Sour cream or yogurt to serve, optional
In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add olive oil, onion, garlic and ginger over medium heat. Stir until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Then, add chopped carrot and pumpkin. Stir for 5-7 minutes, then add marjoram, bay leaves, broth and red lentils. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer. Stir in all spices and tamari, then let the soup stew for 30-35 minutes or until pumpkin and carrots are tender.
Add torn pieces of kale leaves right before serving, letting them cook gently in the hot soup. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. (don’t be shy with the salt!) To serve, sprinkle sea salt atop, and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Serve piping hot.