Lentil soup with coconut and orange

2016 was thé year of the legumes. And if you do some research about them, you will find out that they are actually superfoods. They contain lots of protein and fiber, are inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Due to their high protein content they are a good alternative for vegetarians and vegans to replace meat. However, it is so that lentils contain not that much methionine, an essential amino acid. Most grains are rich in methionine but not the essential amino acids that are abundant in lentils. So when a meal includes both grain and lentils, you got a high quality protein meal with the same quality as in meat, eggs and other dairy products. Legumes are also known for their isoflavones (antioxidants). And of al the legumes, lentils got the most antioxidants and green peas the least.

Lentils (Lens culinaris) are no peas or beans but are closely related to both. All types of lentils are rich in nutrients but black lentils (beluga lentils) are the most nutritious of all. Lentils are so small and absorb the moisture so well that you don’t need to soak them before cooking.

 

Ingrediënts (for 2 persons as a starter or for 1 person as a meal – 30 minutes)

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1 shallot ∞ 1 clove garlic ∞ 1 cm fresh ginger ∞ 1 tbsp vegetable oil ∞ herbs and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, bay leaf and cloves) ∞ 400ml vegetable stock ∞ 100ml coconut milk ∞ juice of 1/2 orange ∞ 100g red lentils ∞ lemon juice ∞ fresh coriander ∞ orange slices ∞ chopped cashew nuts

→ Peel the shallot, crush the garlic and chop them with the ginger finely. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan and fruit the shallot and garlic in it. Add the above herbs and pour the vegetable broth, coconut milk, chopped ginger and orange juice in it. Bring to a boil. Rinse the lentils and let drain thoroughly. Add them to the pan and let cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add some vegetable stock when it’s too thick. Mix the soup fine. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with orange slices, fresh coriander and chopped cashews.

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