By: Esther Vasa
Lentils are a fiber all star! Tend your body and heart garden by feeding it with lentils and good-eats while weeding the unwanted garbage from big-fat junk food. Lentils provide your body with slow burning complex carbohydrates. Pump up your body's iron stores with lentils.
Swiss Chards are full of nutritional goodness. They are related to the beet family, and come in a variety of colors. The leafy portion is usually a thick green, while the stalks can be white, bright yellow, or red. When you combine the chards from all three colors, you get what is called Rainbow Chards. They are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol but a great source of Thiamin, Folate, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
|Lentils and Chards Soup|
- Whole Lentils - 1 cup (soaked or sprouted)
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Fresh Rosemary leaves from a sprig or two
- Chopped Shallots - 1 cup
- A pinch of each powder - chilli, cumin, coriander and turmeric
- Diced Tomatoes - 1 cup
- Water - 6 cups
- Rainbow Chards - 3 cups (Leaves of green, yellow and red combined)
- Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
- Himalayan Salt to taste
- Dairy-Free Homemade Yogurt or coconut cream - a tsp in each serving bowl
- Grated Carrots - for garnishing (optional)
- Soak the lentils at least for four hours. Even better, sprout them.
- De-stalk the rainbow chards, prepare the leaves for the soup and set aside. You can use the stalks in stir fries or juice them.
- Combine lentils, water, bay leaves, rosemary leaves, shallots, tomatoes, spices (listed above tomatoes) and cook for 45 minutes to an hour in a stock pot. If you like your soup more watery, add an additional cup of water. If you use pressure cooker to cook, it takes roughly about 20 minutes for the lentils to get soft and tender. If you like lentils softer, cook further.
- When the lentils are well cooked, add salt, garlic powder and the rainbow chards. (Remember lentils take much longer to cook if you add salt before cooking them.) Cook for about a minute or so.
- Transfer the soup into serving bowls and top off with a dollop of dairy-free yogurt or coconut cream. I used unsweetened coconut cream. For some added eye treat, garnish with grated carrots.
- Enjoy with a side of salad or quinoa or brown/wild rice or GF crackers or GF bread.