1 heaping tsp ghee (clarified butter) or virgin coconut oil or real butter
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced (allow to sit for a few minutes before cooking)
1 head of cauliflower
1.5 cups red lentils, rinsed
1 cup homemade beef or other jus or broth (mine was leftover from a roast)
1 tsp (or more) curry powder
1 large bay leaf
1 can coconut milk
1 can or 1 cup of cooked pumpkin (or any winter squash)
Sea salt to taste
1 pound ground lamb
2 cups fresh arugula
In a large soup pot, heat oil on medium to medium-high, and saute onions for a few minutes. Then add cauliflower and 1 clove garlic. Let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth or jus as well as curry powder. Cook for 3-5 more minutes. Add lentils and water to cover the mixture by a couple of inches. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil. Turn down and let simmer for 30 min.
Meanwhile, in a cast iron skillet, cook ground lamb, cutting into small chunks with spatula. When meat is sufficiently browned, drain off excess drippings and save. Add garlic, 1 tsp ground cumin and sea salt to meat and stir. Add arugula and continue to saute until it wilts. You may turn the burner off and cover before the arugula is ready, as it will continue to wilt with the heat of the pan.
When the lentils have cooked, add salt, pumpkin and coconut milk and stir. Allow mixture to fully warm and remove from heat. Remove the bay leaf. With a stick blender, puree the contents of the soup pot unitl smooth. Pour into bowls and add about 1/3 cup lamb/arugula mixture.Remember that the lamb is not alone as a protein source here. The lentils are providing protein, not to mention a nice hit of fiber.
Enjoy this not only warming (because of the temp and spices), but detoxifying soup. Curry improves phase 2 liver detoxification, and the fiber from the lentils ensures that toxins trying to leave the body actually do make it out through the back door, so to speak. If they don't make it out, as with low fiber diets, they go back into circulation, making the liver do the work all over again and use up precious antioxidants. Cauliflower and arugula, being cruciferous vegetables, also particularly support detoxification (or biotransformation) via increasing the livers ability to clear excess estrogens from the body; This helps prevent estrogen-related cancers, like those of the breast and ovaries. All of this fiber from the veggies and lentils, as well as fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) from the coconut milk feeds the good bacteria of your colon. These bacteria are critical to health maintenance on many levels. Aside from all of that, all of the foods used in this recipe are highly nutrient- and antioxidiant- rich. Remember that your metabolism essentially runs on nutrients and antioxidants. Each step of every metabolic pathway requires multiple nutrients to happen correctly. When we don't have quite enough (or nearly enough, as is the case with those eating a Standard American Diet) nutrients to support all of our metabolic pathways, nourish our cells and tissues and support detoxification, chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancers and even autoimmune diseases begin to set up.
I know you would have enjoyed this soup regardless without knowing all of this; however, I hope that you will enjoy it even more, knowing just how good you are being to not only your tastebuds, but your body. Every meal really does matter, since it is what you do most of the time that defines your health and future.