|Warm and Spicy Indian Vegetable Soup|
Comfort foods. Usually "Spicy Indian Vegetable Soup" is not the first thing that pops into your mind. However, this soup is comforting in so many ways. It literally warms and soothes your belly and digestive system. Two things I need right now. This week was an anomaly to our very mild Utah winter. It was actually cold, cloudy, a bit snowy, and windy. At least most of the mornings. Usually training for a Spring Marathon can be quite dreadful, but our "California Winter" has been fantastic.
With the Boston only 6 weeks away, I am watching my food intake vigilantly. Today I ran 22.2 miles, my fifth run over 20 miles since January. I burn a tremendous amount of calories doing 2 speed workouts a week and running between 60-70 miles. But, have no doubt, that correlates into a ravenous appetite. It doesn't feel hard to eat 5000 calories in a day. However, every one extra pound equates to approximately 1 extra minute in a marathon. I don't want any of those extra pounds. The weight:time correlation struck me out of nowhere. I though I would do a little research and I was stunned. The only hints I've ever had are a couple conversations with my running friends about the pressure from coaches in College to lose weight. Logically, it is a duhhh. Carrying around any extra bulk just slows you down, but the dramatic impact was news to me. A serious runner's healthy weight is significantly lower than the average American's healthy weight.
On a cold, dreary day, after a long run, and a soak in an ice cold river, my stomach and body Today warranted the warm up of this soup. The temperature and cayenne pepper pack the hot punch, and the vegetables and lentils are easily digested by your body. The result is a great combination. It stores well, so I make a giant batch in my canning stock pot (quadruple the recipe) and share, freeze, and eat all week.
Everything about this soup classifies as "easy" except.... there is a lot of chopping involved. Once you square that away, you're set. Don't be afraid to play around and add your favorite veggies in. Sometimes I warm up the spices, other times I tone them down.
Warm and Spicy Indian Vegetable Soup
1 c dry lentils
1 sweet potato, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 red onion, diced
1-2 cups chopped tomatoes (I like cherry) or use a can of diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
2 small zucchinis, sliced
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 bunch of kale, chopped
6 cups of water
1-2 tsp Real Salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne (or less to taste)
1 tsp oregano
Chop all vegetables. Place in a large stock pot, reserve kale for the end. Add water. Bring to boiling and simmer for 20 minutes, adding water as necessary. Add chopped kale a minute or two before serving.
110 Calories per 1 cup serving and 12 grams of protein. Makes about 12 cups.