Lovely Lentil Soup and more about going gluten free


My friend, Angela, sent this mouth watering recipe along to me a few days ago and I am so glad that I tried it today.  It is perfect on a cold winter night!

But before I get to that, a word about gluten in case you are wondering if you or someone you love might be sensitive to gluten and/or casein. I had another gluten flare up after accidentally having gluten on Saturday and now my jaw is completely locked.  In my body, gluten presents itself as an inflammation wherever I am weak or already inflamed.  Since a car accident over a year ago, that seems to be my jaw, neck and back.  My jaw is the worst because I inadvertently clench it at night.  All of this inflammation has me thinking more and more about taking my kids to the gluten-free zone.  They seem to be sooooo sensitive to things like sugar, dairy, soy and corn that I am beginning to wonder if this is a digestion issue that may have to do with gluten.  Of course, this could be a conspiracy theory and I might be making myself mad (as in crazy)…stop nodding your head please.

Anyway, this is my theory, do an elimination diet if you have any constant inflammatory symptoms like pain, digestion issues, bags under your eyes, skin rashes or bumps, asthma and allergies, chronic health problems of any kind really.  If they go away, start to add things back in slowly to see what the problem is.  My kids are already on a pretty healthy diet so we are going to try gluten free for a month or more so I can see if there is an improvement and if not, back to wheat…..maybe.  There are so many great substitutes for gluten now that I sometimes wonder if there isn’t some other benefit to going gluten free, like forcing oneself to access super awesome grains like amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, sorghum, teff, etc.  If you are trying to go gluten free or you feel like our kids may have sensitivity to gluten then a great book to guide you through is Gluten-free kids by Danna Korn, or really any book by Danna Korn.

Alright, onto our lentil soup recipe…which took me 10 minutes and then I slapped in the slow cooker for a few hours!

Morocan Red Lentil Soup

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 large onions, cut into medium dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. ground cumin

 1 tsp. ground turmeric

½ tsp. sweet paprika

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

1½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

7 cups vegetable broth

2 ½ cups crushed or chopped tomatoes

2 cups dried red lentils, picked over, washed, and rinsed

OPTIONAL

Pinch of red-pepper flakes

Juice of 1 lemon

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

Steps

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute. Add the broth and tomatoes and heat to boiling.
  2. Pour the mixture into a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the lentils, cover the cooker, and cook for 4 to 5 hours on high, or 8 to 10 hours on low, until the lentils are tender. (Mine only took a couple of hours)
  3. Stir in the pepper flakes, lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro, cover, and cook on high for 10 minutes. Serve hot.
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