Who doesn’t feel a bit guilty after overeating and not holding back over the Christmas break?
We all want to be a little bit healthier in the New Year, which is why this year we’re helping you achieve that by teaching you to cook lots of healthy midweek recipes you can keep on putting on the table. Today’s recipe in our 10 meals to kick-start a healthier 2015 is a delicious corn chowder, so I thought I’d accompany it with a tasty, warming soup that will help instil some healthy new habits.
This super-simple recipe provides you with three of your five day in one bowl! I’ve used red lentils, tomatoes and spinach as the base, as well as some other yummy bits and pieces. If spinach doesn’t get your heart racing, this recipe would be brilliant with broccoli too.
Red lentils are a great source of iron, helping to make blood cells, which help to stop you getting sleepy when you start back at work and have those January blues. Broccoli, spinach and tomatoes are all great sources of vitamin C, which help to strengthen our immune system and fight any last colds and coughs while maintaining healthy skin, teeth and bones.
The flavours are really warming, as it has a slight Indian influence in the spices, but also is quite a thick, hearty soup with the sweet potatoes and lentils. The mild spice make you feel comforted but also it provides you with lots of nutrients.
Healthy lentil, tomato & spinach soup recipe
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 80g spinach
- 2 medium (about 450g) sweet potatoes
- 6 large vine tomatoes, (about 300g), roughly chopped
- 320g red lentils
- 1 litre organic vegetable stock
- 4 tbsp natural or 0% Greek yoghurt
- Wholemeal bread, to serve
Place a large pan on a medium heat, along with a little oil. Peel the onion and garlic, then roughly chop with the celery and add to the pan. Finely chop the coriander stalks and throw them in too, then cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and golden, then add the spices and keep cooking for a further couple of minutes, stirring until combined and smelling lovely.
Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and roughly chop them, as well as the tomatoes. Add both to the pan, along with the lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 25-30 mins, until the potatoes are soft and the soup has thickened (feel free to add more water if you feel it needs it). Stir through the spinach if using, then season with salt and pepper. Now you can blitz up the soup, keep it chunky, or take out a few ladlefuls and blitz that then add it back to the chunky mix to create a mix of textures.
Serve up into bowls with a dollop of natural or Greek yoghurt, top with the picked coriander leaves and serve with some toasted wholemeal bread.
Tuck in, and all the best for 2015 – for more healthy meal ideas check out our healthy meals category.
Photography by Simon Mackenzie