As a vegan we can get our proteins from a wide variety of sources. For example, I love eating lentils, they can be stored for a long time, are easily digested, fast to prepare, cheap and very yummy! You can use them for soups, dahl, veggie spreads, … Today I made a deliciously creamy soup, with sweet potatoes that add a creamy and (obviously) sweet touch.
The ingredients (about 3 servings/ bowls of soup)
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 1 cup of sweet potato cubes
- 1 big chunk of fresh ginger root (about 2 cm)
- 1 tsp of yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tsp of black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp of cumin powder
- 1 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1tsp of Asafoetida (can be found in Indian shops)
- 0,5 tsp of cumin seeds
- Himalaya salt
- Black pepper
- Fresh cilantro
- Thoroughly rinse the lentils in a sieve with cold water (you can save the water to give to your plants).
- Peel the sweet potato and cut in cubes.
- Peel the ginger and cut in small cubes. Heat some (coconut) oil in a wok, add the mustard seeds until they ‘pop’, then add the ginger slices and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
- Boil water.
- Add the sweet potato cubes and stir for a bit more, add the lentils and stir everything together, add the spices (except salt) and stir until the spices are well mixed with the lentils and potatoes and you can smell the spices.
- Add 4 cups of water and bring to boil again. Let it simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked and the lentils fall apart.
- Take the pan of the furnace and mix the soup till it has a nice creamy texture. You can add more boiling water if you want a less thick soup. Add salt and black pepper to your taste. Enjoy with some fresh cilantro.
Tip: the soup will thicken when it gets cold, so if you eat it the day after, you might have to add some more boiling water to get the right consistency (‘right’ = what you like it to be).
The main health benefits of red lentils
- Lower cholesterol
- Heart health – thanks to significant amounts of folate and magnesium.
- Digestive health – thanks to the fibers.
- Good protein – of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.
- Increases energy and stabilizes blood sugar
- Excellent source of iron (especially for menstruating women)
The main health benefits of sweet potatoes
- Excellent source of beta-carotene (precursor of vitamin A), B6, C & D
- Lowers the potential health risks of heavy metals and oxygen radicals circulating in the body
- Helps with blood clotting
- Contains iron, magnesium, potassium
- Controls blood sugar