Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 3, 2016

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First off, thank you all so much for your excitement and congrats about our news! I really enjoyed reading your comments and stories. I’m also happy to hear my impending loss of sanity should only be temporary. Truthfully, I’m not sure that I ever got it back after our first!

Second of all, I’ve missed you dearly. I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed posting recipes. I love sharing my favourite recipes and stories with you guys. Nothing makes me happier than creating something I adore and thinking about you trying it in your own kitchens! It feels so good to have more energy these days and also to wrap up some other massive projects.

Today’s recipe is most likely the last soup recipe I’ll post until next fall (*sad face*), but boy is it a great one to end on. As my dad likes to say, “It’s a humdinger!” Do you remember my Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup? Well, this soup reminds me a bit of that one, only it’s even better! Turmeric, coconut, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom create an incredibly healing and flavourful broth. I always say the test of a “vault-worthy” soup is whether you want to drink the broth on its own, and this one certainly fits the bill. A generous amount of turmeric makes it feel so healthy and powerful. Knowing that turmeric has so many anti-inflammatory benefits is always an added bonus, too!

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My inspiration comes from a Whole Foods mason jar soup called “Spiced Lentil” that Eric picked up for me on a whim. Well, this soup blew me away. After glancing at the short ingredient list, I knew I could easily recreate it in my own kitchen. Or so I hoped! I scribbled down a recipe attempt and started cooking. The beauty of this soup is that it’s a “pantry” soup. I had every single ingredient on hand (and still do, which explains why I’ve been making it so much). The first batch turned out darn near perfect (actually, we liked my version more), and the second attempt was even better than the first. Poor Eric only got one bowl from the first batch. You gotta be quick around the pregnant lady! I’ll fight you.

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If your weather is still cool, snowy, rainy, and dreary in early spring like it is here in Southern Ontario (we’re getting a snowstorm later today…*cries*), I hope you’ll enjoy this comforting soup. Even if it’s not cold where you are, I’d argue that breaking out into a light sweat while eating this is totally worth it!

glowingspicedlentilsoup

4.9 from 286 reviews
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Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

This soup is so quick and easy because there aren’t many vegetables to chop (just garlic and onion—that’s it!) and it relies mostly on pantry staples. It takes 15 minutes prep time (that includes getting the ingredients out), and then it’s hands off while it cooks. Talk about easy! While this soup contains a lot of spices, it's not what I would call "spicy" or "hot". If you do want a kick of heat feel free to add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Also, feel free to change up the baby spinach for other greens like stemmed kale or chard. This soup is inspired by Whole Foods.

Yield
7 cups (1.65 litres)
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 cup (250 mL) | Calories 260 calories | Total Fat 16 grams
Saturated Fat 11 grams | Sodium 250 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 24 grams
Fiber 8 grams | Sugar 4 grams | Protein 8 grams

Recipe makes 7 cups (1.65 litres) total.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

  • * I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

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Anne-Sophie April 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Wow can’t wait to make it!!! I’m gonna go buy veggie broth to make it tonight. I love all your recipes so much… I could’nt live without them!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Thanks for the love! Hope you enjoy :)

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Anne-Sophie April 3, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Oh and do you know how long it could be kept in the refrigirator? And can I freeze it? Thanks ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 3, 2016 at 1:13 pm

Hi Anne-Sophie, It will keep in the fridge for 4 days or so in a sealed container. And yes it should freeze beautifully!

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hairwonderfulday April 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

Love love love this recipe, it is still a bit chilly in UK and it feels like this would be warming for cold evening!

www.hairwonderfulday.com

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Erica April 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

This sounds amazing! Getting ready to make your cauliflower lentil soup today. Will have to make this next week. Still snowing here in Alaska so lots of soup weather left!

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joan April 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

congrats on the pregnancy! my sisters and I totally fan-girl over you! haha, not really, but we do all own your cookbook and are so thankful for the work you do & share! this recipe looks amazing, and totally speaks to my needs right now (as a fellow cold souther-ontarian today). thanks!

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:20 am

Thank you, Joan! I hope this soup helps you stay warm. :)

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Heather April 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Angela,

Thank you so much for everything you do. I love your blog, your recipes, and your positive energy that truly does glow, even through the screen.

Heather

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:18 am

Aw, you are too sweet, Heather! Thank you for your kind words. :)

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Becky April 3, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Thoughts on using brown lentils in place of red? I’m sure the taste and texture would change but enough that you wouldn’t swap or make it? Feel like making today but don’t want to go to store!

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Jamie April 4, 2016 at 12:55 pm

I’m wondering the same. I’m not a fan of the red ones as they always turn to mush on me. Though I’m sure it’s the lack of my cooking skills.

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

Hi Becky and Jamie, I haven’t tried using brown lentils yet, but I expect it should work although the flavour will change a bit (I find brown lentils a bit earthier tasting). Regarding red lentils turning to mush – it is true that they break down much more than, say French green lentils or common brown lentils. In this soup they are used to provide body and thickness as opposed to an intact “chewiness”. That being said, I’m sure French green lentils (which hold their shape) would add a whole other character to this soup so feel free to experiment! Hope this helps!

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Karen April 8, 2016 at 3:07 pm
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Hi Ladies – I just wanted to suggest substituting the red lentils with yellow split peas. I tend to not favor red lentils in soups such as this as they become mushy-textured in a flash on my electric stove. Yellow split peas stay nice and firm and flavorful and are a bit more color consistent with the spice profile here than green or brown lentils.

Either way, Ange – thanks as always for providing recipes I can trust to yield delicous results…I’ve never made one of your recipes that didn’t turn out perfectly, a feat that few if any of even my favorite vegan cookbook authors/recipe developers have achieved. (Oh, and congrats again!)

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Angela Liddon April 8, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for the great suggestion, Karen! (And your congrats wishes, too :) )

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Lyn April 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm

The first time I made it I used green lentils instead of red (I couldn’t find red at the store) and I did have to cook it a bit longer (like 5 minutes) but it tasted delightful (even my dad, who normally whines if there is no meat, liked it).

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Angie February 5, 2017 at 10:08 pm
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I made this recipe using a lentil trio to avoid doing just red lentils. It added variety and turned out great! I think it was the best of both worlds because the red lentils added to the thickness of the soup but the other lentils gave it some texture. I may try to experiment with some more veggies too, but all in all a solid recipe!

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Libby April 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm

I love a good pantry meal! This looks delicious. I love the combination of spices.
I also like a little insight into the way that you come up with and develop recipes!

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Monica April 3, 2016 at 3:29 pm

I’ve got mine on the stove now. It smells (and tastes) incredible. I just sat down to wait my 18 minutes and it just started to snow here in Toronto. This soup is perfect.

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Nicole W. April 3, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Yum! What timing, too… I had planned a curry lentil bowl for the family for supper today, but as of last night we were still driving around trying to find taro, the staple of the dish. I had never heard of taro! We tried whole foods, organic garage, goodness me…all with no luck. We were going to head into T.O. to an Asian grocer (I hear they carry it and call it dasheen) but the weather was crazed. So, a snowfall, below freezing temps and, quite probably, this soup will be the name of the day. I can’t have tomatoes, but I can scoop myself out a bowl and use something else to sour the soup for myself…do you think a bit if lemon juice would do it?
Eric should definitely not try to compete with a pregnant woman for food! You should try distracting him by sharing the dill pickles and then steal away the soup when he’s caught off guard!

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Nicole W. April 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm
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Ok…made this already for family supper. The cardamom adds a complexity that I love! i have never flavoured a soup with cardamom before today. My husband commented on how delicious the scent is and says that curry and coconut milk are a match made in heaven. So is this bowl of soup on this snowy spring day :)

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:14 am

I’m so glad the recipe was a hit, Nicole!

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han April 3, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Mmm this looks like the best comfort food! :)

www.ohjanuary.co.uk

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Liz April 3, 2016 at 6:50 pm
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I made this for dinner tonight since I ran out of time to make what I was planning. Oops. I added fresh curry leaves that I had on hand and a smidge of ginger. My husband and I both loved it!

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Vanisha May 3, 2016 at 7:52 am
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I found this recipe, via Buzzed, and so glad that I did. I just made this for lunch, and took your suggestion liz and added curry leaves and ginger as I had some on hand. I love that I have all the ingredients needed for this recipe in the cupboard. Love!

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Katrina April 3, 2016 at 6:59 pm

So many amazing, tasty flavours in this soup! It sounds wonderful!

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Leslie April 3, 2016 at 8:01 pm
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I was so happy to see this post!!! I just made this and it came out wonderful and delicious! A beautiful soup to warm and nourish with this last bit of winter hanging on! Thank you so much for yet again a fabulous recipe!!!!

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Elle April 3, 2016 at 9:51 pm

This may be obvious but do you include the solid part of the coconut milk, or just the liquid? I have always wondered. Thank you for all that you do! I love your recipes!

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Cheryl Burella April 4, 2016 at 10:06 am

Yes! Use the fat. Make sure it is all stirred in well.

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Cheryl Burella April 4, 2016 at 10:08 am

Yes! Mix all of the can’s contents in well.

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 9:34 am

Hi Elle, yes, both the solid and the liquid parts of the coconut milk! It’ll make it nice and creamy. :) I hope you enjoy the soup if you give it a try!

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Patty April 3, 2016 at 10:19 pm
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So good! Just made it and it is wonderful! Was planning on making your other spiced red lentil soup (one of my absolute faves!) and instead made this one. Love this one just as much!! BTW, it hit almost 80 degrees today in California but I seriously can have soup no matter what the temperature is outside. Thank you for another terrific recipe!

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

80 degrees? I’m jealous! Haha. So happy to hear you enjoyed the soup, Patty!

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Danna April 4, 2016 at 3:56 am
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Love all your recipes Angela! you are a staple at my house. I made this soup and its nice but in my opinion needed some heat. Next time will add some ginger to the garlic and onion. Also have your blueberry spelt muffins in the oven as we speak (which I make all the time and LOVE!)

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Danica April 4, 2016 at 6:18 am

Hi Angela! This soup looks delicious! I have been following you on snap chat, I am danicak1 and must say I am really looking forward to your app coming out!!!

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:01 am

Thanks, Danica – I’m excited too!

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christine dugdale April 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

Just the sort of soup I make and love – a cuddle in a bowl:)

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 10:00 am

“A cuddle in a bowl” — I love that, Christine! :)

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christine dugdale April 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Why thank you, Angela:)

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Katie April 4, 2016 at 8:26 am

This looks SO delicious and I LOVE cooking with turmeric so I will definitely be making this myself!

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Jan April 4, 2016 at 8:28 am

My husband is allergic to coconut. What other plant based milk would be a good/decent substitute?

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

Hi Jan, great question! I would recommend replacing it with a thick homemade cashew milk, if possible. My suggestion would be to blend 1 1/2 cups water with 3/4 cup soaked and drained cashews until smooth. Stir this in rather than the can of coconut milk. If cashews aren’t an option an unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk might work in a pinch (although it won’t be as creamy and rich). Hope this helps!

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Nina April 12, 2016 at 3:55 am
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Hi and Greetinga from the UK. I was scrolling down the comments as I also wanted to ask the same question re what alternative to full fat coconut milk. Thanks for replying to Jan’s question. I can now try the soup too! A suggestion for other recipes that contain coconut milk or oil would be to perhaps make an added note to the recipe. I am looking forward to the release of your new cook book. As I have to avoid coconut products are you able to tell me if it the book contains a high percentage of recipes that use coconut oil and milks? If so do you suggest alternatives in the recipes. Good Luck with your book release! Thanks.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 4, 2016 at 9:10 am

It’s so great to have you back and blogging again, Ange! This soup sounds absolutely amazing, and perfect for the weather you guys are getting over there. (If you need to escape it for a little west coast adventure though, you know who to call!) I’ve been buying the little fresh turmeric roots from Whole Foods lately and love adding it freshly-grated to curries. That stuff is potent, I tell ya! I was going to say that I’d look for the lentil mason jar soup next time I’m there, but now I think I’ll just make yours instead! :)

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Hanne April 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

Just discovered your blog, and im in LOVE!! Being a 20 year old vegan student and trying to make good food isnt always that easy, but your blog has inspired me soo much!
Love from Norway

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 9:55 am

I’m so, so happy to hear you’re finding inspiration in my blog, Hanne! Thanks for the sweet words.

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Carrie Hodges April 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

fill your bowl with the fresh spinach and then put hot lentil soup of that instead of adding spinach to entire dish. that way the spinach won’t get soggy. just an idea.

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patti April 4, 2016 at 9:34 am

HI Angela. This looks amazing. I’m needing to make a soup for an upcoming retreat I’m running (and yes, I’m in Kitchener and we got a beautiful snow fall last night- I LOVE IT!!) but I want a soup that I can make in the slow cooker. Any professional cooking advise on whether this would work or not and if so how long would you cook and at what temp? I need it done for 12pm. thanks for any advise you can offer.

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 9:31 am

Hi Patti, I’m sorry – I’m not sure! Please let me know what you end up doing, I’m sure lots of people would be interested to know! Good luck. :)

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Marjorie McDonald April 4, 2016 at 9:36 am

I just wanted to say thank you for doing what you do! My daughter has been vegetarian for 3 years and is moving towards being vegan. Your site and book have been sanity saving! Real food, real ingredients, not heavy on soy, and even my other two children are picking up some good habits!

I’m trying this soup (or my variation of it) today… perfect for an April snow day (wth??)

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

Haha, I know, isn’t this weather crazy?! I hope you enjoy the soup, and thank YOU for the kind words. :)

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Cat @ Reader/Eater April 4, 2016 at 9:49 am

Have you tried topping it with cashew sour cream? I wonder if it would be similar to regular sc on lentil soup. Kinda addictive, you know?

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Rosemarie April 4, 2016 at 10:06 am

Do you think this would be as good using plain almond milk?

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 9:29 am

Hi Cat, I haven’t tried that yet, but I’m sure it’d be delicious! Let me know how you like it if you give it a try. It’s also really good with extra coconut cream stirred in!

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Mac D April 4, 2016 at 10:02 am
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I could not wait to make this yesterday!!! I whipped it up after a seven hour road trip and it took no time at all! I love when recipes mostly involve opening cans and minimal chopping! Less dishes = happy wife.

This soup was so delicious, My dad and husband each had three servings. I’m so glad I doubled it up, and would highly recommend doing so. The combination of flavours is so divine, I’ll definitely be visiting this recipe in the colder months!

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Jacqueline McGuinness April 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

Sitting here in snowy Toronto this looks very enticing.

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Blou April 4, 2016 at 10:27 am

I love your recipes, but I do wish you would post nutritional information – so important for someone like me who needs to count calories. Sometimes I avoid trying recipes just because I don’t have that information.

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Eleanor April 4, 2016 at 10:10 pm

If you are very concerned about calories My Fitness Pal is a terrific app where you can manually enter in all the ingredients from a recipe, the amount of people the recipe is intended to serve and it will tell you the calories for one portion. I’m not sure your motivation for counting calories but the nice thing is, with Angela’s recipes you know they’re healthy and good for you, so with portion control it should be perfect :-)

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Blou April 5, 2016 at 7:38 am

I have been using My Fitness Pal to track calories. Entering all the ingredients from a recipe is a little time-consuming, so it’s always nice when it has already been done for us!

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Maru April 7, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Well. I did it, both the soup ( delicius), and I entered the recipe in MFP… But… OMG.. I dividee in 12 portions, and each portion is… 221 calories… Too much.. I cannot afford it, i need to lose 5 kilos urgently…

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Kate | HappyForks.com April 11, 2016 at 6:16 am
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Maru, are you sure you entered right numbers for calculations? I’ve analyzed nutritional values for 7 portions / 1 cup = 1 serving (in my opinion if you divide this proportions into 12, you may need some effort to in searching for the soup in the bottom of a bowl).
From my calculations each portion provides 264 kcal | Protein 8g | Fat 16.75g | Carbohydrates 24.5g | Fiber 5.1g | Sugars 4.5g. From my point of view this results are OK if you concern this soup as a complex meal. You can reduce significantly the amount of fat (and calories) by using light coconut milk or other type of non-dairy milk as Angela suggested. When you are on reduction it is important to deliver to you body whole spectrum of nutrients and also to make your brain feel your stomach is full.

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Kate | HappyForks.com April 13, 2016 at 8:25 am

Ups, I meant to give 5 stars, but was too late to change it. This recipe certainly deserves 5 ***** !

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Dana April 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

This soup sounds amazing! It will be cold here this week with snow coming Friday, so maybe I’ll just go ahead and make two pots. And maybe share with the kids. Or not.

Congratulations on your news! I am so excited for you and your family!! Can’t wait for future blog posts to hear about the progress of Wee One #2. Super to see your posts. We’ve missed you!!

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Teresa April 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

Can’t wait to make this soup today! I’m the queen of soup making according to my friends and family. Lol. I’m going to use kale instead of spinach, since that is what I have in my fridge. Also, I’m going to add diced fresh carrots. For me, I can’t eat lentils without carrots, they just go hand in hand.

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Jody April 4, 2016 at 11:11 am
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I just made this and it was absolutely perfect. I’m already thinking of making another batch to have plenty for the week and freeze some as well!

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Edith Robitaille April 4, 2016 at 11:11 am

Received Your cookbook from my daughter for Christmas. Best gift ever. Love everything and so easy to follow. Can’t wait to try the lentil/leek soup. Thank you so much.

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm

I’m so happy you’re loving the cookbook, Edith. I hope you enjoy the soup when you try it!

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Stephanie April 4, 2016 at 12:27 pm

This soup looks incredible:) I’d love to try ti, but can I ask how it could be modified to omit the tomatoes of one could not have them? Thank you!

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Angela Liddon April 5, 2016 at 9:38 am

Hi Stephanie, if you omit the tomatoes, I’d suggest adding about another 1/2 cup of broth. Hope you enjoy the soup if you give it a try!

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kathy April 4, 2016 at 12:34 pm

I am for sure making that soup. It looks so yummy! By the way congrats on the new baby to come!

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ATay April 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm
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I am eating a bowl right now and it is DELICIOUS! Made it just as the recipe is written. Spot on!

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Sarah | Well and Full April 4, 2016 at 1:40 pm

So many fantastic and exciting things happening in the Oh She Glows household!! :D This soup looks absolutely amazing. It’s actually snowing here in CT right now, so I’m craving something warm and comforting like this!

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Andrea April 4, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Do you know the calories per serving and how much a serving size is? Making this tomorrow, looks so healthy!

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Angela Liddon April 4, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Hi Andrea, I haven’t calculated the nutritional information, but if you pop the recipe into a free online tool like NutritionData.com or CalorieCount.com, you should be able to find out the calorie count per serving pretty quickly. Hope this helps! Enjoy the soup!! :)

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Kathy April 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm

I would appreciate if you would provide the nutritional analysis in your recipes. Using full fat coconut milk is rich in calories no?

Also the amount of carbs, sodium, etc. is good to know. The standard stuff.

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