Thursday, December 6, 2012

lentil and turnip detox soup

This week has been out of control.
I have been so super busy at work that I can barely move.
I get sore when I work hard.
Don't judge me.

However, somehow I managed to muster up enough energy to cook every single night!
This is a drastic change from the cheesy Ramen noodle/cereal binge I was on last week.
After a week of that, I decided it's time I jump back on the health bandwagon and try to eat better.

Really, it all started when my boss told me to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.
If you're looking for motivation to get healthier, watch that and then try to tell me you don't want to at least try drinking green juice.

But, because I seriously doubt I'll ever be able to convince Joe that a green juice detox would be fun, I've started testing out healthy recipes to add to our dinner rotation.
If he's ever done traveling for work, that is.

Last night, I attempted my first recipe containing lentils.
I've always heard good things about them and their health benefits, and when I saw that a whole cup of them is only 200 calories...well, I was sold.

So, without further ado...

recipe adapted via
Things you'll need:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1.5 cups lentils
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pot and chop up onion, celery, and garlic.
I threw mine in the food processor for time's sake.

Saute onion, celery, and garlic until tender...approximately 5-7 minutes on medium heat.

Turn heat to high and add tomatoes.
Feel free to use freshly diced tomatoes if you'd like!
Obviously I was just lazy and went the easy route for this one.

Cook for about 1 minute, until well blended and tomatoes have released some of their juices.

Add lentils, turnip, water, and chicken stock and bring to a boil.

When soup is boiling, throw in two bay leaves, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until turnips are tender and lentils are cooked.

When soup is done simmering, take out the bay leaves.
Add parsley and red wine vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper.

Doesn't this just look like a bowl of Christmas?
I loved how all the colors turned out surprisingly festive!

Also, side note, I'd like to point out that I did not follow the original recipe verbatim, as I was going more for flavor than detox.
If you're looking for ways to make this even more healthy though, I'd suggest using 6 cups of water like the original recipe states instead of a chicken stock/water mixture.

I was pretty skeptical about how this was going to taste.
Mostly because the recipes I tried on Monday and Tuesday didn't turn out so great...
But in the end, I was pleasantly surprised!

The turnips have a potato quality to them that I enjoyed, and the lentils were so filling.
I could only eat half a bowl and I was completely stuffed.
The only things I'd change next time would be to:
1. Switch the parsley out for cilantro {I have yet to try an herb I like better than that}, and
2. Try dried red lentils like the original recipe calls for.  I simply couldn't find these at my grocery store after looking on two separate occasions, so I used what I could find.

Hope everyone is having a great week!


  1. LOVE your blog, sweet Amber! This soup sounds really good (and healthy!). I'll admit I DO need to eat much healthier (wish I didn't love fries sooo much *sigh*). I'm so proud of you for trying these healthy recipes and sharing them with others. Hugs, Mrs. Patti

    1. Thank you, Mrs. Patti! :) I love fries too {haha} but working on the blog helps keep me motivated! I'll bring you one of my healthy masterpieces next time I surprise you with a visit!