Recipe: Quinoa and Red Lentil Soup
Fall is upon us here in Minnesota. Our summer has long departed and we’re in for cooler temperatures. In addition to switching out my summer shorts for tights, I switch up my meals a bit too. Soup is one of those simple pleasures that can signal a change in the seasons. It welcomes the fall and winter with open arms.
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as coming in from a cold run and enjoying a nice big bowl of soup. With fresh baked bread and warm apple cider, it doesn’t get much better. The warm aroma screams of comfort. Did you know it can also be good for you?
Homemade soup can be packed with crazy nutrients. If it’s got some green, orange or red in it, you’re getting all kinds of vitamin A, C, D and iron. The recipe below is also packed with fiber and protein – all things runners need.
A friend of mine recently shared an amazing recipe for Quinoa Lentil soup. It’s great because it simmers forever in a crock pot, and makes a ton so you have leftovers. Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you. Here is how you can enjoy it too.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked small red lentils
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (or pre cubed packaged to save time)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 4 slices of fresh ginger (unpeeled)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 springs fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chopped fresh greens (I used half a package of Southern Greens from Trader Joe’s: collard, mustard and kale)
- 1 teaspoon (or more) of salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Rinse the quinoa and red lentils in a bowl; drain in a fine mesh colander; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine red pepper flakes, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and coriander
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute onions, carrots, and celery until soft and just beginning to brown. Add ground spices; stir until the mixture becomes fragrant; turn off the heat and set aside.
- In crock pot, combine quinoa, lentils, sauteed vegetables with spices, butternut squash, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, fresh ginger, and fresh herbs. Pour vegetable broth over ingredients. Stir. Set crock pot to cook for about six hours.
- In about six hours, the mixture will look soft and creamy–almost like a porridge or congee, with soft nuggets of butternut squash and bright bits of carrot. A few minutes before you are ready to serve, saute the chopped greens and garlic in a little olive oil–just until wilted. Stir them into the soup. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon sticks before eating.
This will fill you up for your next long cold run. Amazing!