Skinny Dal Soup
Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor
When I lived in Canada many moons ago, I would chuckle at my co-workers when they’d descend on flavorless cabbage soup diets to get in shape for the summer. I was 20-something with a strong metabolism and a deeply curious palate, where every meal was an act of discovery and adventure. Those were not the days of cabbage soup for me, nor calorie counting.
Things have changed. It’s been a tough couple of years for all of us, with an unrelenting pandemic that has not only filled us with anxiety but isolated many of us. This has led to tacking a few extra pounds onto our waistlines, and I can attest to this. So, I decided to try my version of the diet cabbage soup by using a very light lentil base, a variety of local vegetables and aromatic spices.
You can call it a dal soup, but there are umpteen variations to be had — use any kind of dried beans, like red, white or pinto, instead of lentils, and a variety of vegetables to soak up the flavor. Replace the cinnamon stick with whole green or black cardamom pods or cloves. The resulting aromatic, brothy soup tastes far from diet food.