Spartan founder and CEO Joe De Sena has been thriving on a whole-food plant-based diet since the 1970s, which is why he created Spartan's 14-day whole-food meal challenge. On a recent episode of the Spartan Up! podcast, Joe interviewed Dr. Alan Desmond, a medical doctor and gut microbiome expert, about his mission to help people optimize their health with one simple solution: eating more plants.
More Plant-Powered Recipes: Wild Rice Super Salad | Chocolate Beanie Brownies | Plant-Powered Stew With Braised Chickpeas and Couscous | Spicy Baked Beans and Sweet Potato Farls
He's given us five great recipes that are packed with the diversity of whole plants, the dietary fiber, and the healthy protein that you need to crush the Spartan whole-food cleanse and smash that next Spartan race. Each of these recipes is featured in Dr. Desmond's new book, The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Happier Gut and a Healthier You.
Today's recipe is a plant-powered spicy parsnip and lentil winter soup.
Spicy Parsnip and Lentil Winter Soup
This is a perfect winter warmer with 10 unique plants in the bowl. Parsnips carry spices beautifully, and their sweetness provides a nice contrast to the earthy lentils. As an alternative to parsnips, you could use carrots, squash, celeriac, or sweet potatoes.
Serves two; Prep and cook time: 50 minutes
Plant score: 10
Fibre per serving: 15 grams
Protein per serving: 16 grams
What You Need
½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 leek, sliced
1 celery stick, roughly diced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
9 ounces of parsnips, roughly diced
½ tablespoon of finely-grated fresh root ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¾ cup of red lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon of medium-hot curry powder or paste
3 cups of vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
¼ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
1 apple, cored and finely diced
Small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
How to Make It
1. Warm the oil (if using) or a few tablespoons of water in a large saucepan. Add the leek and celery and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add a dash of water every so often if they look like they are burning.
2. Add the tomato, parsnips, ginger, and garlic. Cook for a further five minutes before adding the lentils, curry powder, and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender. Stir in a small squeeze of lemon juice.3. Transfer to a blender in batches if necessary, and whizz until completely smooth. If you like, add some boiling water to adjust the thickness. Taste and tweak the seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice.
4. Serve in deep bowls topped with the walnuts, apple, and coriander.
This recipe was originally published in Dr. Alan Desmond's book, The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Happier Gut and a Healthier You, featuring 80 vegan recipes by Bob Andrew and published by Yellow Kite. Photos are credited to Dan Jones.