In true retail fashion, Thanksgiving dinner was still digesting in our guts when we heard Christmas music playing over the store speakers. [sigh]
Yes, we were THOSE people.
I’ll admit, on Thanksgiving night, we perused the racks at Sports Authority hoping to find some great deals on fitness apparel… and maybe some gifts in the process. You see, in the hot month of July when everyone else was sweating and sitting by the pool, I was already excited for Christmas. This NEVER happens and I’m still not sure what got into me. But this year I was determined to NOT be on the verge of tears while standing at the FedEx shipping counter, for fear my gifts to family wouldn’t arrive on time for Christmas.
Maybe it’s all the personal development I’ve been doing as a Beachbody Coach… or listening to Chalene Johnson’s CAR SMART series during my daily commute. Either way, I’m happy to report that as of today, December 7th, I have 95% of my Christmas shopping DONE and I couldn’t be happier! Not only are some of these gifts more thoughtful (I say some, because I did buy my 21 year old nephew a Subway gift card… and there may be some people getting Starbucks… but I digress…) I now have more time to devote to the things that REALLY matter at Christmas. The spirit of giving – not just gifts, but my time, celebrating traditions and focusing on providing my body with nutrient dense meals. This is the time of year where nutrition is MOST important, yet many of us, myself included let it fall to the wayside and put our priorities elsewhere.
I called this soup The Holiday Helper Soup, as I was thinking how beneficial it would have been for me to have this in my corner that night I was in tears at FedEx. I could have scarfed a bowl while shoving my homemade body scrubs into a large box and quite possibly avoided the meltdown I was doomed to inevitably experience when they asked me if I had liquids in my box. Perhaps my blood sugar levels would have been more balanced and I would have had the presence of mind to simply LIE, knowing full well it was oil mixed with sugar and perfectly harmless.
This original recipe was given to me almost a year ago by my friend Danielle. She is a fellow runner, vegan and both she and her husband Rob LOVE to cook! Over the past year, I’ve made this recipe many times, in a variety of ways. I finally think it’s been modified enough that I can share it here! The BEST part about this recipe is you can put just about any root veggies in it and keep the seasoning the same and it will always come out great! Below is a double batch, so it will last quite a while!
It’s a lot of chopping, but fairly easy and well worth it!
In a large stock pot, combine the following ingredients:
6 cups water
1 1/4 c. rinsed lentils
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 small golden potatoes (organic is best), chopped into cubes
6 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 small parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 small bundle skinny radishes, chopped
Added in the last 5 minutes of cooking:
4 c. kale, without stems and ripped into bite sized pieces
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 – 7 oz. can tomato paste
2 tbsp coconut nectar (maple syrup works great too)
2 tbsp white vinegar (I’m going to also try apple cider vinegar next time)
1/2 tea. garlic salt
1 tea. dried thyme
1 tea. dried dill weed
1/2 tea. dried tarragon
1/2 tea. fresh ground black pepper
I love this soup because it’s so basic and really, really hard to mess up! The cook time is also pretty quick considering how much soup it makes. Once you get the first seven ingredients in the pot, heat on high to med-high and cook for about 15-20 minutes. You just want to make sure the potatoes and parsnips are getting soft – I usually pull one out and let it cool for a minute and take a bite. Once it’s almost the perfect tenderness, add the remaining ingredients and give it a good stir. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
This will freeze great or stay in the fridge for up to a week.
It’s perfect to have on hand for those nights when you don’t have time to cook, but really need to nourish the body! You can mix up the veggies as well or add a side of sprouted toast for a little filler too.