Eating with the seasons is an exciting event! The seasons form nature’s framework for healthy eating and are crucial to balancing the earth’s resources and life forms.
Food processing and worldwide distribution means that food is available all year round, so it’s easy to be disconnected with each season’s bounty. Tuck into winter with warming foods and use longer cooking time.
Hearty winter root vegetables, grains, bean dishes, soups, stews and roasted nuts increase body heat and warm us to the core. Lighter dishes such as fresh greens, winter salads and other colorful vegetables add balance and variety.
Here is one of my favourite hearty winter, easy to make soups. Red Lentils are superior in providing B-vitamins, which plays a vital role in releasing energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Red Lentil and Tomato Soup – serves 4
1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
175g (3/4 cup) split red lentils
1 kg diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup water or more depending on consistency liked
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh continental parsley
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Yoghurt if desired
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir often for 5 minutes or so until softened and transparent. Add the tomato and water and bring to the boil. Add the lentils and stir until well combined. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the soup thickens. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Combine the parsley and lemon rind in a small bowl. Ladle the soup among serving bowls and sprinkle with the parsley and lemon mixture. Drizzle the soup with extra oil and/or yoghurt if desired and serve immediately.