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Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Spinach Soup (5:2 Diet)

A gently spiced carrot & lentil soup. Easy to make, tastes delicious and low calorie.

spiced carrot, lentil and spinach soup

SPICED CARROT, LENTIL & SPINACH SOUP (5:2 DIET)



I know, I know, it's summer, in some areas it's scorching and here I'm sharing a soup recipe. 

In my defence, it's cooler here in Scotland and I still crave soup during the summer. 

This spiced carrot, lentil and spinach soup is so so delicious I had to share it.

In fact, it's my favourite soup.

The one I make again and again.


DO YOU EAT SOUP IN THE SUMMER?


I wonder if you eat soup in the summer or move to salads?

When I made this soup I wasn't really caring about summery flavours, I just wanted the flavour of our much-made spinach and coconut dal, which is so delicious. 

So I started there with the spices. 

I was originally planning on adding some coconut milk to this soup too, but when I tasted it I realised how divine it was and didn't want to dilute the flavour by adding anything creamy.

We all loved it, even the wee one. 

Although I say wee, he's actually getting tall for a wee boy (must be all the soup) and eats like a horse.




a bowl of spices lentil and spinach soup in a bowl on a wooden board with sliced bloomers bread

WHICH LENTILS ARE BEST FOR SOUP?



There are lots of different lentils you can add to soups, here are a few of the basic lentils and their qualities.

  1. RED LENTILS - These lentils melt down and give a creamy soup.
  2. BROWN LENTILS - These lentils hold their shape. They will not make a soup creamy but will add texture.
  3. GREEN LENTILS - Like brown lentils these will hold their shape and not give you a creamy soup.
  4. PUY LENTILS - Also called French lentils, these black lentils also hold their shape.
For this soup I used red lentils which are a popular soup in Scottish cooking.

I wanted them to melt and give me a creamy soup.


IS FROZEN SPINACH OR FRESH SPINACH BETTER FOR SOUP?


You can use either fresh or frozen spinach in soup.

Fresh spinach is great, but if you find it is taking up too much room in your fridge or if you want to save money, then frozen spinach is the way to go.

Have you noticed when you have wilted spinach for other dishes, how little spinach you actually have once it is wilted and the water is squeezed out?

So just think how many bags of spinach is in a bag of frozen spinach.

Each little frozen bundle is probably equivalent to a big bag of spinach.

You save so much money.

So keep your freezer stocked with frozen spinach and add it to soups, curries, stews and pasta.

Save fresh spinach for salads, sandwiches and wraps.

Of course, if you are trying to use up a bag of spinach, I say go for it and throw it into whatever dish you are making.

HOW LONG CAN YOU KEEP THIS SOUP?


Once cool, you can store this soup in the fridge for 3-4 days. It will probably be ok on day 5, but I never keep it that long.

You can also freeze it.

Freeze it in portions for 3-4 months.

To defrost it, pop a portion in the fridge overnight, then reheat before serving.


carrot and lentil soup in a pale blue ceramic bowl

IS SOUP A HEALTHY OPTION?


Soup is always a healthy option and great if you are trying to lose weight.

It's low calorie so a great swap to make for a few of your meals each week.

You don't really have to try. 

It's a delicious and filling meal and the fact it is low calorie is just a bonus.


NUTRIENTS IN CARROT, LENTIL AND SPINACH SOUP


This lentil soup is high in Vitamin A which is important for good vision, healthy bone growth and cells.

Vitamin A also supports the immune system and promotes healthy skin.

It is a good source or Dietary Fibre, Iron and Vitamin C. It also provides a small amount of calcium.

CALORIES


6 servings = 110 calories for each bowl

7 servings = 94 calories for each bowl

8 servings = 82 calories for each bowl


It's also low in fat and salt. So it makes it perfect for the 5:2 diet.


a selection of 5:2 diet soups

5:2 DIET


You must have heard of the 5:2 diet or fast diet which was invented by Dr Michael Mosley

If not you can check out my 5:2 Diet guide

Basically it is a two day fast where men eat and drink 600 calories a day and women eat and drink 500 calories a day

Yes it's low, but it's possible. 

It's best not to do both days together and try not go crazy on non-fast days. 

It's a gradual way to lose weight and when I was doing it I felt really positive and energetic on fast days.


THE UPDATED 5:2 DIET


Michael Mosley has recently updated the rules and you will be pleased to hear he has upped the calories to 800 for everyone.

He told The Telegraph “Cutting down to 800 calories a day seems to be almost as effective and for some people much more ‘doable’. It's low calorie, without being super low-calorie. And if you want to have lunch, you can slip those extra 200 calories in there.”

If you have tried the 5:2 Diet you will know how exciting this is.  Read more about it in my post The New 5:2 Diet Explained.


5:2 DIET SOUP


If you are following the 5:2 diet, either the original diet or the updated diet, then soup is your friend. 

It's low calorie, super healthy and it fills you up. 

As well as this spiced carrot, lentil and spinach soup, try my spicy tomato and lentil soup at 123 calories per bowl, my spicy butternut squash soup at 113 calories per bowl, my minestrone soup at 198 calories per bowl or my easy broccoli and spinach soup which comes in at 145 calories per bowl.

Good luck if you try the diet.

Not on a diet? 

You should still try this gorgeous soup. It will soon become a favourite in your home.



soup, low calorie soup, low fat soup, 5:2 diet recipe, vegetarian 5:2 diet recipe, vegan 5:2 diet recipe, lentil soup, red lentil soup
dinner
Scottish, vegan
Yield: 6-8
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Spinach Soup

Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Spinach Soup

A gently spiced soup that has so much flavour. It's vegan and dairy-free and perfect if you are watching your weight. It's only 184 calories for a huge bowlful or 138 calories for a standard bowlful. I'm making this soup as part of my trip back into the 5:2 diet.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 40 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 medium carrots, grated
  • 50g spinach
  • 200g/1 cup red lentils
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ litres/6 cups vegetable stock
  • a good grinding of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the grated carrots & spinach then measure in the spices and stir through.
  3. Add the stock and lentils then cook for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, then serve with crusty bread.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes:

CALORIES


6 servings = 110 calories for each bowl

7 servings = 94 calories for each bowl

8 servings = 82 calories for each bowl


You can keep this soup in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it in portions for 3-4 months. Defrost it in the fridge overnight.


You can use fresh or frozen spinach for this recipe.


Nutrition Facts

Calories

109.72

Fat (grams)

2.98

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.48

Carbs (grams)

16.83

Fiber (grams)

4.64

Net carbs

12.19

Sugar (grams)

4.90

Protein (grams)

4.87

Sodium (milligrams)

1158.11

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Created using The Recipes Generator

13 comments

  1. This sounds amazing, Jac. I love adding lentils to soups to make them more heartier.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was heartened by the justified increase in calories, too. Although I admit to being more a fan of the 8 hour eating window, with eating between 11.30 am and 7.30 being my norm when I do it. I've been a slacker lately though. We are still having soup too. Needs must! Yours looks lovely and brilliantly nutritious too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The eight hour eating window sounds sensible. I usually fall within that, although usually about 11 am when I have a hot chocolate or apple. The 800 makes it a lot easier.

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  3. This looks such a great healthy soup! Being dairy intolerant, I love that is awesomely dairy-free :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is definitely awesomely dairy-free and delicious! I have another batch cooking right now. I wish I could share the gorgeous smell too.

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  4. That sounds sounds great for the Fall and winter! Creamy and hearty!

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  5. You totally had me at lentils and spice!

    I do love a good spiced lentil soup... no matter what the weather. It's never too hot for lentil soup, TBH. I also love your addition of spinach and carrot - all the goodness, and still fantastic for 5:2 - I call that a win! xx

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  6. I must be blind, but I do not see anything in the recipe directins about when to add the lentils. Are they dried when you add them? Are they cooked first?

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    Replies
    1. Whoops! Sorry about that. Same time as the stock. Glad you spotted it.

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. Beautiful soup, thank you. I had a bag of spinach to use up so it all went in the pan along with a parsnip and sweet potato. I also liqidised it to disguise the spinach from my family! Just delicious, a new family favourite.

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    Replies
    1. It's my favourite too. My son isn't too bad with spinach if I don't put too much in, but I hear you about having to hide veg sometimes. The struggle is real.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x