Recipe: Red Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil

menopause-recipes

Brrrr…it must be time for a red lentil soup recipe packed with protein and warmth.

Oh, and let’s not forget a smoky paprika garnish to make it sing!

Are you feeling the chills?

This cosy red lentil soup is perfect for cold weather and ticks off the PPFF boxes nicely.

PPFF’s are our nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory menopause food guidelines of phytoestrogens, protein, fibre and fat.

You can read more about PPFF here.

Even if you’re not too familiar with lentils, they’re packed with plant-based protein which our bodies thrive on. In fact, research shows that an anti-inflammatory, vegetarian diet helps to mitigate menopause symptoms. And this red lentil soup is delicious!

Study finds a plant-based diet reduces hot flushes

A study published in the journal Menopause found that a plant-based diet rich in soy diminishes hot flushes by 84%. Furthermore, participants went from experiencing five hot flushes daily to less than one!

Indeed, nearly 60% of the women participating in the 12-week study had fewer hot flushes after eating a plant-based diet and adding 1/2 cup of cooked soybeans to their day.

The research isn’t saying that every midlife woman needs to be vegetarian or vegan. However, moderating meat intake and increasing vegetables and phytoestrogens have been shown to be helpful over and over again. (Along with 40+ and 55+ of course!)

One way to up your intake is by having something like this red lentil soup for an entree before your main meal. Or try having a smoothie packed with greens first thing or as a snack.

You can get a free list of phytoestrogen foods here. You’re welcome. 🙂

Red Lentil Soup with Smoked Paprika Oil

Serves 4

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Red Lentil Soup Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 200g carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 200g potatoes or kumara (sweet potato), peeled and chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, deseeded, chopped
  • 200g red lentils, dried
  • 5 ⅓ cup (1250ml) vegetable broth
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ lemon, juiced
menopause-recipes

Method:

1. Heat half the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the carrot, potato/kumara and capsicum and continue to cook.

2. Place the lentils in a colander/sieve and rinse under cold running water. Drain well. Add the lentils and vegetable broth to the pot and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Season using 2 teaspoons of paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil with the rest of the paprika over very low heat for 3 minutes until all the flavours are well absorbed. Take care not to burn.

5. Add the lemon juice to the soup and puree using a hand blender.

6. To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls and drizzle over the warm paprika oil.

Bon appetit. 

If you make this yummy soup do share your pics and tag us! 

Instagram @menome100

Nutritional Information:

  • Gluten-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Meal Prep/Freezable
Approximate nutritional value per serve:
  • Kcal 415
  • Fats(g) 15
  • Carbs (g) 59
  • Protein (g) 16
  • Fibre (g) 10

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.