Life’s a Feast: Turmeric, spinach and dahl soup

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In recent times, there have been bold claims about the healing and health benefits of turmeric. On the back of claims that include alleviating allergies and depression, this spice has become incredibly trendy; so much so, one can now order a turmeric latte! Turmeric contains hundreds of different compounds, but the one scientists are most interested in is curcumin and its influence on inflammation within the body. Raw turmeric looks a little like ginger, but with a gorgeous yellow tinge. This is a wholesome, healthy recipe the whole family will love. Enjoy!

PREP TIME: 7 MINS
COOK TIME: 20 MINS
SERVES: 6 PEOPLE

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, roughly diced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric (or 3cm of fresh turmeric, grated)
1 fresh chilli diced (or one dried one, crumbled)
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1 cup red lentils, washed and drained
2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
1 1/2 litres chicken stock
500g fresh spinach
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
200ml coconut milk

Pita Bread

6 pita breads
3 cloves garlic crushed
50-60g butter
Chopped fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
  2. Heat the oil to medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 mins until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and continue to cook for a further 3-4 mins, ensuring the garlic doesn’t brown.
  3. Stir in the coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and turmeric, and thoroughly combine and cook for 2-3 more mins.
  4. Pour in the stock and add the chopped potatoes and rinsed lentils. Bring back to a simmer and cook for about 15 mins until the lentils and potatoes are soft.
  5. While the soup is simmering, soften the butter, add the crushed garlic and combine. Spread evenly over the pita breads. Pop into the oven on a tray with baking paper, and cook for about 10 mins until nearly golden brown.
  6. Meanwhile, add the washed spinach to the soup. You may need to add it in batches so it fits in the pot. Cook until it is all wilted.
  7. Blend the soup until smooth with a stick blender. Add the tamarind and coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Taste and add salt if needed.
  8. Take the garlic pita bread out of the oven and chop into your desired serving size. Sprinkle with chopped coriander if using. I quartered mine for ease for the kids. Serve immediately with the piping hot soup. Enjoy this subtle taste of India!