Turmeric is ginger’s trendier – and even healthier – cousin. Julia Gartland cooks a stew that is guaranteed to get you through the cold months.

Turmeric, like ginger, is a trendy root and one of those beloved spices. It's incredibly warming, anti-inflammatory and an instant mood booster.   Turmeric's antioxidant properties make it the perfect tonic for cold seasons and winter months, but also let's be honest – it's good all year round. I love it in chai, turmeric teas, soups and stews. Essentially, it's a cure-all and is as tasty as it is healthy.

This soup is packed with flavour, Moroccan spices and a ton of hearty ingredients. If you're feeling under the weather, or just want a purifying and healthy meal – this is the recipe for you. Luckily, it makes a ton and you can share with others (or have leftovers for days).

(Gluten-free) Serves 6-8

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 in/5 cm piece of ginger, grated or minced

1 lb/454 g carrots, cut into about 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces

1 lb/454 g kabocha squash or pumpkin, cut into about 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces

1 small bunch marjoram, tied with cooking twine

4 bay leaves

1.9 l organic chicken or vegetable broth

1 (16 oz/475g can) fire-roasted tomatoes

300 g red lentils

1 1/2 tablespoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon zatar (a Middle Eastern spice mix with thyme, sumac and sesame seeds)

2 teaspoons sumac

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3 tablespoons tamari

5 stalks of kale, de-stemmed and torn

sea salt to taste

freshly ground pepper

Sour cream or yogurt to serve, optional

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add olive oil, onion, garlic and ginger over medium heat. Stir until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Then, add chopped carrot and pumpkin. Stir for 5-7 minutes, then add marjoram, bay leaves, broth, canned tomatoes and red lentils. Bring soup to a boil, then simmer.  Stir in all spices and tamari, then let the soup stew for 30-35 minutes or until pumpkin and carrots are tender.  

Add torn pieces of kale leaves right before serving, letting them cook gently in the hot soup. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. (Don't be shy with the salt!). To serve, sprinkle sea salt atop, and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Serve piping hot. 


A New York-based photographer, food stylist and self-taught cook. 


INSTAGRAM: @sassykitchen

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