Author Notes: Bitter tasting foods contribute to better health but sadly, these foods are largely absent in a typical western diet. Inside our digestive system, bitter tasting foods do wonders! They reduce water retention in our bodies while cleansing our inner organs and blood. And don’t worry, you don’t have to start munching on raw bitter melon to include bitter tasting food in your diet! Many different types of leafy greens, spices like turmeric, and fenugreek seeds all provide the “inner” bitterness that your body needs.
The last time I was at the farmers market, I saw people buy the beetroots and discard their greens – boy are they missing out! These beet greens have a natural saltiness to them and can be added to all kinds of soups, stews, and warm salads. This warm and hearty lentil soup uses three of my favorite bitter foods – beet greens, fenugreek seeds, and turmeric. This is my go-to detox recipe for the cold winter! Enjoy some bitterness! —Medha | Farm on Plate
Food52 Review: WHO: Farmonplate is a classically trained chef living in Vancouver who cooks with fresh, local ingredients.
WHAT: A hearty soup with flavorful spices and Indian influence.
HOW: In a large pot, boil lentils, fenugreek seeds, tumeric, and ghee until tender, then blend into a purée. Add chopped cooked beet greens and lemon juice and serve yourself a heaping bowl.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you went as hard as we did this holiday season on cookies, pies, and all variations of sweets, soup is the perfect January refrigerator staple. Health benefits aside, the bitter beetroots are, well, bitter and are a welcome addition to this soothing soup (Bonus: They can be easily swapped for whatever green you have in your fridge.) —The Editors
cups red lentils
tablespoon fenugreek seeds
tablespoons ghee, separated
tablespoon cumin seeds
teaspoon finely shredded ginger
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
greens from 1 bunch of beets, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
- Sort, wash, and drain the red lentils.
- Put the lentils in a big pot with 8 cups of water, add fenugreek seeds, turmeric, 1 tablespoon of ghee and salt.
- Bring to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer until the lentils are soft and fully cooked, about 30 minutes.
- Purée the lentils in blender or with a hand blender, until the consistency is smooth. If the purée is too thick, add more water; then check for seasoning. Keep it warm.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee in a saucepan over medium heat.
- When ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and fry for 15 seconds, until fragrant. Add ginger and garlic, and cook it for another minute.
- Add chopped beet greens, cover, and cook for 5 minutes until tender.
- Sauté beet greens, then add them to the soup along with some lemon juice, and serve warm.
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Photo by James Ransom
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