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Spicy Lentil and Veggie Soup

By Carmen Niehaus

In the foodie and health world, everybody is talking about good gut health nowadays. If you are on a mission to up your gut health, this soup will tick all the boxes. With plenty of veggies, it is full of prebiotic fibre for your good gut flora to feast on. One can keep the soup chunky, but I prefer a velvety creamy soup, making it more luxurious. Soak the lentils overnight, rinse and drain them well before adding them to the soup. This will ensure optimal digestion. Lentils not only have plenty of fibre, but they also are a good source of plant protein and wonderful food for your microbes.

Nowadays, I no longer bother to prepare my own stock or add stock pods, I prefer to use the wonderful South African product, rooibos tea, not only to add lots of antioxidants but also to boost flavour. In this spicy soup, I opt for rooibos tea blends with strong flavours which are full of goodness too. My pick is from the popular Carmién Tea wellness range: Revive (made with green rooibos, ginger and chilli) and Rescue (a blend of buchu and red rooibos).

Ginger and chilli give Carmién Revive a punchy kick for those who like some heat! Chilli is also high in Vitamin C while ginger helps with morning sickness and nausea. Together they stimulate circulation. Green rooibos leaves are specially treated to prevent oxidation, which gives you a lighter-bodied brew and higher natural antioxidant levels.

Carmién Rescue is a blend of buchu and rooibos, both native to South Africa. Indigenous communities have been using buchu for centuries to treat a wide range of ailments such as urinary tract infections, PMS, water retention, arthritis and prostate infections. The ideal tea to also keep your kidneys flushed and healthy.

Makes about 2 litres of soup
Preparation time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30—40 min

30 ml (2 T) coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
125 ml (1/2 c) red lentils, soaked overnight if preferred
3 sweet potatoes, grated
10 ml (2 t) turmeric
5 ml (1 t) ground cumin
5 ml (1 t) garam masala or breyani masala
2,5 ml (½t) cinnamon
1 litre (4 c) rooibos tea stock, made with 7 tea bags Revive & 5 tea bags Rescue from Carmién
500—750 ml (2—3 c) spinach, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil oil, made by blending basil leaves and olive oil together and nutritional yeast flakes (optional) to garnish

1 Melt the coconut oil in a large pot and sauté the onion and garlic till soft.
2 Add the lentils, sweet potatoes and spices and sauté for another minute.
3 Add the tea stock, lower the heat and simmer till the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft, add the spinach and simmer for another 15 minutes.
4 Whizz with a stick blender until smooth and creamy and season with salt and pepper to taste.
5 Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.