A Green Lentil Soup Recipe That Is Lectin-Free (Yes, Really!)
There is nothing more soothing than a good, warm soup, especially in cold weather. This soup was born a day when I was craving vegetables. It has a surprising ingredient: green lentils. Legumes are naturally high in lectins and other anti-nutrients, but with the right preparation, they can be a nutritious addition, even to a lectin-free diet (see below for instructions on how to pressure cook lentils to reduce lectins!).
Green Lentil & Vegetable Soup
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for the pot
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- ½ fennel bulb and stalks, chopped or sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- ¼ celeriac, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 pinch of cumin seeds
- 2 or 3 springs fresh thyme
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 5 to 6 cups (1,200 to 1,440 ml) warm filtered water
- 1¼ cups (250 g) pressure cooked green lentils (see sidebar)
- Large handful lacinato kale, chopped
- Handful dandelion greens, chopped
- 1 cup (70 g) chopped broccolini or broccoli
- Handful chopped parsley
To make the lentils:
- Rinse 1 cup (192 g) lentils and soak them in water to cover for about 1 hour.
- Drain and add the lentils to an electric pressure cooker. Add 4 cups (960 ml) water.
- Seal the pot and cook on high pressure for 9 minutes, then release the pressure manually. Drain the lentils.
- They can be used immediately or frozen. If you want the lentils to hold their shape, choose the very small, green variety. Yellow lentils turn into mush when pressure cooked but can be used to make creamy soups or to thicken stews.
To make the soup:
- Add a generous amount of olive oil to a soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add the leek, fennel, carrot, parsnip, celery, and celeriac. Stir well and sauté until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Add the coriander and cumin seeds to a mortar and pestle and crush. Add them to the pot and stir. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add 5 cups (1,200 ml) of the water and bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked lentils, kale, dandelion greens, and broccolini. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if necessary.
- Add the chopped parsley and serve.
Excerpted from The Living Well Without Lectins Cookbook by Claudia Curici. Reprinted with permission from Harvard Common Press, 2020.
Claudia Curici is a cookbook author and founder of the website, Creative in my Kitchen. She started the Instagram account, @creativeinmykitchen, one of the first lectin-free destinations on the Internet, to share her experiences and lectin-free advice. She then launched the pioneering lectin-free blog Creative in My Kitchen: The Art of Cooking Lectin-Free Food, where thousands of readers enjoy her writing, recipes, and photographs. Claudia is the author of the recent book, The Living Well Without Lectins Cookbook: 125 Lectin-Free Recipes for Optimum Gut Health, Losing Weight, and Feeling Great. She currently lives in Dallas, Texas.