It is all about comfort food right now. As we are staying at home for the most time, isolated from other people, craving that warm and fuzzy feeling, nothing will satisfy you more than a bowl of hearty, delicious, hot soup.
Get the recipe here.
This is yet another variation of the lentil soup, but it really takes the dish to another level. Heady smoked paprika combined with garlic and tart sherry vinegar create an amazing flavor that Spanish foods are so famous for. So it is definitely not boring! Blooming the spices in oil enhances their flavor, and sweating onion, carrot, and parsley in a covered pot provides a rich, vegetal background taste to the main ingredients. Lentils and plant-based sausage deliver texture and substance, making this soup rich, filling and deeply satisfying, which makes it a perfect dish if you are transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Lentils are often overlooked, even though they’re an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients. For example, they’re packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Lentils are made up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative. They’re also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes lacking in vegan diets. Lentils are also high in fiber, which supports regular bowel movements and the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Furthermore, lentils are a great source of health-promoting polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties with potential cancer-cell inhibiting effects. Additionally, lentils may protect your heart by supporting weight loss, preventing homocysteine accumulation in your body and improving cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Now, the sausage. There are a lot of different opinions on whether or not this plant-based sausage is good for you. Yes, it is processed food, and i would definitely not recommend eating it on a daily basis. However, it is not processed soy, which I usually avoid at all costs, and it has a texture and substance of the real sausage, making it a great transitional meat substitute.
When cooking just for myself, I would skip the sausage. The soup tastes great without it. But since I am trying to turn my husband into a vegetarian, I had to consider his cravings for meaty taste and texture. I add this sausage to the soup, and he can't even tell that the dish is vegan. If you are dealing with a similar dilemma, this recipe could be a great bridge to a plant-based diet.
So, for those times, when you really crave something meaty, it will hit the spot and you will still be eating a plant-based meal. You can omit the sausage, if you are not a fan of it, the soup will be just as good. But if you are transitioning to a plant-based diet and really miss meat, you won't be disappointed.
You can typically find this sausage in natural food stores and some supermarkets, usually in the frozen food section.
So, give it a try and see how you like it, or go without it, whatever your heart and tummy desire!
Get the recipe here.
What other kinds of recipes would you like to see? Let me know!