The Florida Citrus Feel Better Challenge is now underway! Join us as two UrbanMoms writers battle for the title of Top Citrus Chef. Starting with an appetizer, then a main and ending with a dessert, our chefs will showcase three fabulous recipes featuring Florida Citrus products.
Your job is simple: check in each week and read both Cayla and Carol’s recipe reviews, compare the pictures and then let us know whose dish looked best by voting each week for three weeks! We will be giving away one prize pack including a $250 WaySpa gift certificate and some invigorating Body Shop products to help you feel better. To enter the contest you must comment below and share the things that you do to Feel Better. Each week you’ll also have a chance to earn additional ballots by adding your own favourite citrus recipes to the Florida Citrus Feel Better Recipe Swap application.
This week’s recipe is: Hearty Lentil Orange Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings
10 mL (2 tsp) canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
10 mL (2 tsp) chili powder
5 mL (1 tsp) ground cumin
500 mL (2 cups) red lentils
750 mL (3 cups) 100% pure Florida orange juice
875 mL (3 1/2 cups) sodium-reduced vegetable stock
75 mL (1/3 cup) low-fat plain yogurt
- In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder and cumin for 5 minutes or until softened. Add lentils and stir to coat well for 1 minute.
- Add orange juice and 500 mL (2 cups) of the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in remaining stock and heat through.
- Serve in shallow soup bowls with a dollop of yogurt.
Tip: For a smooth soup, puree the soup in batches in a blender and heat through.
Recipe provided courtesy of the Florida Department of Citrus.
When I told my family I was trying a new soup recipe, it didn’t phase them since I am forever experimenting with new soup recipes. My kids and husband tend to be meat-and-potato lovers so I often use the appetizer course to squeeze in the fruits and veggies; we have soup, salad, or veggies and dip every night. As the weather becomes cooler, we find ourselves eating soup more often than not.
Making this soup was super-easy and super-fast; I can honestly say that I got the whole thing prepared in the 15 minutes I was home between picking my son up from school and dropping my daughter off at trampoline. By the time I got home 30 minutes later, it was simmered to doneness (and made the house smell amazing in the process). While the lentils mostly melted away, I chose to blend it so it was completely smooth, one of the tips from Florida Citrus.
I served the soup along with homemade cheese pizza; together the two made up a balanced meal for our Meatless Monday dinner. As part of an effort to become healthier and environmentally aware, we are choosing to eat more fruits and veggies and less meat. I have to say, though, there was more leftover pizza than I anticipated, not only because the soup was so good, but also because it was so hearty and filling.
When I was serving the soup, my daughter was a little wary of the dollop of yogurt so I left it off hers. I have to say though, that was the part of the soup I personally liked best: the cool creaminess of the yogurt balanced out the rich flavours of the lentils and cumin in the soup.
I wasn’t the only one who liked the soup; everyone in my family enjoyed it and had this to say:
Maya: It tastes like oranges and I like oranges. Also, it’s not chunky so that’s good.
Billy: I’m not sure what it tastes like or why I like it but my mouth just wants to eat more.
Husband: Its good. And hearty. (he’s a man of few words)
Overall, the soup was a success. It was fast, easy, healthy, and yummy. And while not all ingredients are local, I know that Florida Orange juice is always in season and always amazing so I feel good about cooking with it any time of the year.
See what our Chef #2, Carol, an UrbanMoms staffer, had to say:
As the cold days of winter settle upon us there is nothing more delicious than a warm cup of soup. For lunch or dinner, soup makes a fantastic addition to any meal. Not only is it comforting, it is also healthy for you too. At this time of year, especially after the holidays, I try to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into my family’s diet as possible. This can be challenging as winter does limit the amount of fresh produce available so I’m always excited to find a recipe that is packed full of easy to find ingredients that are both healthy and delicious. The Hearty Lentil Orange Soup recipe sent to us from the Florida Department of Citrus is a great combination of both these elements.
The Hearty Lentil Orange Soup was such an easy and simple recipe to prepare. I was quite intrigued by this recipe as I’ve made quite a few split pea soups in my days but have never tried red lentils. The other surprising element in this soup was the addition of orange juice. I couldn’t wait to see how these flavours came together. I am happy to report that this soup did not disappoint. The best way to describe the taste is zippy and hearty. The citrus flavour enlivens the soup and adds a burst of flavour to each bite. The verdict was unanimous – the whole family felt the same way about the soup; they found the pureed texture very appealing and enjoyed the interesting combination of spices and orange juice.
Husband: Love the taste of delicious spice combination and dollop of yogurt.
Rachel: I love soup and this one is so yummy.
Nicky: My favourite part is dipping the cracker in the soup. Orange and crackers taste so good together!
I make it a priority to serve my family foods that are both great tasting and good for us. The daily choices that I make as a mom do impact the health and wellness of my family. These small choices really add up. During the winter months it’s so easy to hide away inside our warm and cozy homes. So why not get outside and make a snowman with your kids, or go tobogganing, both activities are so much fun. Also try new recipes that combine interesting flavours and pack a great healthy punch.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! VOTE AND COMMENT BELOW.
TO ENTER THE CONTEST share the things that you do to Feel Better. Each week you’ll also have a
chance to earn additional ballots by adding your own favourite citrus
recipes to the Florida Citrus Feel Better Recipe Swap application.