This soup is a favorite amongst my clients who come to me for weight loss or those who want to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet. It is easy to prepare, nutritious, delicious and freezes well.
Unless making it for one person (this makes 4 bowls) I suggest DOUBLING the recipe. I always regret it when I don’t! This recipe makes 7 cups.
Another option is to not add the cup of water. Not adding it will of course make it thicker.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder (or more to taste)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cups water (do not add this if you like thick soup)
1 cup red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste
5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder and sauté for 2 minutes longer to intensify the flavor.
Add broth, 1 cup water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20-25 minutes.
Stir in lemon juice. Stir, taste and add more if necessary. Stir in cilantro.
This busy executive contacted me saying that she was an active person who skied, hiked and ran but had struggled with her weight for most of her life. And although she is a vegan, she admitted to eating too many calories and wanted to get help with her nutrition as well as the strength training and accountability.
Did I mention she is busy? And I mean BUSY! She is a top executive with a major company and works 12 to 14 hour days at her highly demanding job.
Despite the lack of free time, she did her best over the first 6 to 8 months of us working together to discover what nutrition strategies and regular workout schedule worked best for her. At about that point, that’s when she started making major progress with her weight and body fat reduction. She was able to find habits and strategies that worked for her.
Its been impressive to watch her attention and dedication to her nutrition plan. I can recall large family parties, vacations, company dinners and lavish restaurant dinners where she said no to the luscious, high-calorie foods available to her and stuck with her eating plan. She was ultra motivated and nothing was going to take her off course.
She has been just as dedicated to her workouts. She runs several times a week, hikes or skiis on weekends, lifts weights with me twice a week, attends a boot camp one evening and a Pilates yet another. Some nights she doesn’t get home until 9 pm from her workouts.
She tells me she would like to lose another 15 pounds and I know she will. I also am confident that she will then be able to maintain her weight loss because of the healthy lifestyle habits she has incorporated. And if you are struggling with your weight, let her be an inspiration to you.