Recipes, Vegan

Recipe: Medicinal vegan red lentil & lime soup

Look, I’m not about to tell you that food will cure you, but after two weeks of having the flu and still feeling pants, I decided that my diet of hot cross buns and more tea than I thought humanly possible could probably do with some help. So I decided to make this medicinal soup, and bonus points it’s vegan too.

Without descending into too much woo, this has a bunch of stuff that supposedly has some health benefits: onions have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation, coconut is apparently helpful to balance gut bacteria, and limes are full of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and stops you getting scurvy. Although if you’re worried about that, I recommend drinking daiquiris.

I have no idea if it’d cured me, but it tasted good so I figured I’d share. I stuck with it as it is in the recipe below because I didn’t want to challenge my stomach any more than I was already, but the punchy lime, sunny colours and slight heat meant that next time I’ll be adding shredded chicken or pork, some beans, maybe a pinch of cumin and upping the chilli slightly to make it a more filling soup. But as it is, it’s a pretty nice medicinal soup, although pretty citrusy (some people might want to tone that down, I quite like it).  It’s also vegan if you use right kind of vegetable stock; I used Marigold Swiss vegetable vegan bouillon powder in this recipe.  I also mentioned garlic and ginger pastes because I have them both in my fridge and was too poorly to be faffing about grating ginger.

Recipe: Medicinal red lentil soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: soup
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 100g red lentils
  • 2 heaped tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coarsely grated ginger or paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced or tbsp of garlic paste
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 2 generous handfuls baby spinach (approx 50g)
  • 1 lime, juice and zest - you may want to reduce this if you don't like things too citrusy
  1. In a large pan, fry the onions in a little oil until soft and golden
  2. Then add the lentils, turmeric, ginger, garlic and pour in the stock.
  3. Cover the pan and simmer until the lentils have softened, this should take around 15 minutes
  4. You might want to season with some salt now, depending on how salty your stock is
  5. Pour in the coconut milk, give everything a good stir and simmer for another 15 minutes or so
  6. Add the spinach, and cook it until it wilts.
  7. Stir in the lime juice and zest, and serve.

Disclosure: Brought to you by the flu and the realisation that after two weeks I was starting to get bored of bread, which is more painful than the flu itself. Also, if you’re really sick, go see a doctor and get actual medicine. But only have antibiotics if you *really* need them.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Elizabeth

    That soup looks delicious. It’s pretty much the kind of thing Indians have been prescribing for centuries. 😀 I love the joy of something so simple and easy to make that feels so darn nutritious.

    March 27, 2018 at 1:22 pm
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