This is not just a recipe for soup, it’s a way to trick your metabolism. My Winter Lentil Soup is one of my favourites, and one which is super-quick to make (10 min max – recipe below). It has all of the key nutritional values you’d look for (protein rich thanks to the lentils, plenty of dietary fibre and vitamin-B too), but healthy shouldn’t mean tasteless, so what better way to improve a soup’s flavour than with some fresh chili. I’m frozen on these cold winter days but eating spicy foods can make you feel warm and cosy (and occasionally give you a comically red face!) – in chili this is because of the chemical called ‘capsaicin’, which gives it the heat and potency, and also stimulates a natural process where other food you eat is converted immediately to heat. This process is called thermogenesis, meaning you burn up calories immediately rather than storing them.
So, spicing up a meal with chili significantly increases the pace of thermogenesis. More good news – it often boosts the amount of fat, rather than carbohydrate, that is burned in the process, AND it can reduce appetite. So it’s a natural dieting agent that tastes good! A few more foods that can do the same, you ask? Ginger, mustard, green tea, coconut oil and coffee. Click ‘more’ to see my yummy recipe…
2 tbsp oil, 2 yellow onions, 3 dl red lentils, 1 tablespoon curry, 4 carrots, 2 cubes vegetable stock, 1.7 l of water, salt, pepper, 1 bay leaf, fresh chilli – quantity? As strong as you dare…
1. First peel and shred the carrots finely. Peel, chop and fry the onion, shredded carrots and finely chopped chili with curry oil.
2. Rinse the lentils and add them in to the mix.
3. Add water, broth and bay leaves, cook for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Season with salt and pepper. The soup is enough for a little more than 4 servings and can be frozen.