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Great Books

Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Wednesday Aug 6, 2014

Ingredients: Moroccan Lentil-Chickpea Soup

This soup, from Robin Robertson’s “Vegan Fire and Spice,”  is one of our favorites as it has all of the wonderful, exotic flavors of Morocco. Turmeric, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and coriander blend together and fill the kitchen with the intoxicating aroma of a Moroccan spice market. But all these spices do much more than just flavor the soup. Spices are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and the health benefits of each one are worth mentioning.

  • Turmeric contains curcumin which is an anti-inflammatory and has been proven in clinical studies to be more effective than standard drugs in alleviating the pain and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Cardamom contains powerful antioxidants, and when paired with blueberries, can boost the activity of the cells in our immune system which fight cancer. Blueberry cobbler, anyone?
  • Cumin is a good source of iron and aids in digestion. It also contains antioxidants and has been shown to help the liver rid the body of toxins.
  • Cinnamon contains very powerful antioxidants, even more than the other spices mentioned. It also reduces blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and and is anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Just be sure to only use Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon (sometimes referred to as Chinese cinnamon), which is what is typically available in grocery stores, contains a toxin called coumarin which may be toxic to the liver. The doses don’t need to be high, either, especially in children. Just a little Cassia cinnamon on oatmeal a few times per week can cause problems in children. Ceylon cinnamon does not contain coumarin. We get ours on Amazon.
  • Ginger also contains antioxidants, and may be protective against DNA damage as well.
  • Coriander is anti-inflammatory, reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol while also regulating blood sugar.

The health benefits of these spices do not depend on mega-doses to be effective. Simply including them regularly in a nutrient-dense whole food plant based diet can provide you with better health.

Bon appétit!

Moroccan Lentil-Chickpea Soup


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