Kapha Red Lentil Lemongrass Soup for Spring

It’s so easy to eat healthy when you have red lentils on hand! They cook in minutes, are nourishing to all three doshas and go well with so many seasonings. Here I have paired them with a spicy lemongrass paste which is ideal for balancing kapha in the spring and winter months (or any time the weather is cold and damp).

The combination of ingredients work together to promote overall health and well-being. The Pippali powder (also called Piper Longum or Indian long pepper) is regarded as a rejuvenating force that supports the respiratory system while soothing the nervous system – great for kapha and vata. During the winter and spring, I sprinkle Pippali on everything (instead of black pepper) to boost my immunity and fortify my lungs to ward off the flu. Lemongrass helps to cleanse the lymphatic system and is calming to the body and mind. And of course, turmeric is good for everything. This recipe is already my favorite weeknight meal! I hope you enjoy it as much as I.

Makes 2 servings
Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free

2 tablespoons sunflower oil
4 tablespoons lemongrass paste
¼ teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon Pippali powder
2 plum tomatoes, peeled, chopped
⅔ cups Red Lentils or Masoor Dal
4 cups water
2 tablespoons lime juice (or to taste)
4 tablespoons cilantro (or to taste)

In a medium pan, warm the sunflower oil over medium-low heat. Add the lemongrass paste, salt and Pippali powder. Sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in the tomato. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until lentils are soft. The lentils will lose their shape and become somewhat mushy. Add the lime juice and cilantro. For a creamy consistency, you can purée with an immersion blender. Adjust lime juice/cilantro to taste. Serve immediately.

Serving suggestions:
Kapha can garnish with julienned mustard leaves (which will add even more of kick to this dish!).
Vata and pitta can cool things down with some coconut milk or fresh plain yogurt.

Purchase: I buy lemongrass stalks and lime leaves at my local Asian market, then freeze extras in freezer bags to make sure I have it on hand when I’m not able to get to the market.
Make Ahead: The lemongrass paste can be prepped up to two days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container which will make life a little easier if you are rushing to get dinner on the table.

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