New Year, Healthier You Recipe #2: Lamb, Harissa & White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt

While our first recipe in this week of New Year’s healthiness was the perfect snack to get you through your January indulgence withdrawals, this recipe for Lamb, Harissa & White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt is the perfect healthy meal.


Inspired by a vegetarian recipe I recently saw in Food & Wine Magazine that takes over 8 hours to make, I’ve reduced this recipe to under 2 hours (including prep!) without sacrificing one iota of flavor. I also glammed it up by adding some ground, grass-fed Australian lamb. Not baaaaaad, if you ask me. Apologies for the lamb humor.

And while you could omit the lamb, I must say the succulent meat melds deliciously well with the flavors of the spicy harissa, creamy white beans and sweet Hungarian paprika. While I originally intended to freeze some of the soup for later consumption, the Hubs had other plans. It was so delicious it disappeared from my kitchen in record time!


In addition to its fabulous flavor, this dish also contains some super trendy, healthy ingredients including (1) turmeric, (2) savory yogurt and (3) harissa.

Native to southern Asia, turmeric has been used in both culinary and medicinal applications for thousands of years. With its earthy flavor and bright orange-yellow hue, it is a key ingredient in Indian, Iranian and Pakistani cuisine and also gives curries their hallmark golden hue. The health benefits of turmeric stem from an active compound called curcumin which is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is especially beneficial for cardiovascular health, join pain and diabetes.

Savory yogurt has also enjoyed a recent surge of popularity. This unsweetened yogurt offers the same nutritional benefits (i.e. calcium and protein) without the additional calories and sugars of fruit yogurts. Savory yogurts are also perfect for healthy add-ons such as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and Kalamata olives or drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with flaky sea salt. Unsweetened yogurt can also be used in place of sour cream…imagine the possibilities! As with many dairy products lately, whole fat varieties are being recommended over slimmed down versions (i.e. non-fat, reduced fat) which don’t have as much staying power.


Move over sriracha, harissa is the new spicy condiment in town! This North African hot chili pepper paste is essentially a blend of chili pepper, olive oil and garlic commonly used in Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine. It can also include coriander, cumin, mint and a variety of other ingredients. Use any harissa you have left over from this recipe to flavor dishes ranging from fried eggs to roasted chicken for a delightful kick of heat. It’s metabolic boosting properties have even been touted by Dr. Oz! Also, for those of you doing the Paleo thang, harissa is “Paleo-approved” so feel free to get your spice on.

Since Old World wines are especially waistline friendly and on our agenda for January, we enjoyed a delightful cru Beaujolais from Maison Louis Jadot with the Lamb, Harissa and White Bean Soup. The 2011 Chateau des Jacques Moulin-a-Vent, made from the Gamay grape, had lovely notes of blackberry, plum, minerals and cassis with supple tannins and a delightful finish.

Since this dish is somewhat spicy, a light, fruity wine with friendly tannins is the best pairing. Bold tannins and hot, spicy foods tend to clash on the palate, creating a very unpleasant flavor situation. Another lighter red like Pinot Noir would also be a wonderful choice.


I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe for Lamb, Harissa and White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt as much as we do! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the Comments section below. Stay tuned for more healthy, delicious goodness coming this week.

Bon appétit,


"Lamb, Harissa & White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt"
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4-6
Pair this delicious dish with a light, fruity red wine such as a cru Beaujolais or Pinot Noir
  • 1½ lbs. ground lamb
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tablespoons spicy harissa, plus more for serving
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 4 cans white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-inch strip of lemon zest plus 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup roughly chopped, flat leaf, Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large pot, heat 2 Tablespoons of the butter and olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground lamb to the pot and saute until lamb is browned.
  2. Stir in ¼ cup of the harissa and the tomato paste and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the cumin and paprika, then add 3 cups of water and bring soup to a simmer, scraping up browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaves, lemon zest and juice to the pot, stir well and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  3. While the soup simmers, in a small, non-stick skillet, melt the remaining Tablespoon of butter. Add the ground turmeric and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly until it dissolves, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the Greek yogurt until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
  4. To the simmering soup, add the drained, rinsed white beans to the pot and heat through, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, add the chopped thyme and parsley and remaining 3 Tablespoons of harissa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup with turmeric yogurt and extra harissa on the side.


The post New Year, Healthier You Recipe #2: Lamb, Harissa & White Bean Soup with Turmeric Yogurt appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

New Year, New You: Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey!

With the indulgence of the holidays behind us (literally!), January is the perfect time to renew our dedication to living a healthful existence. I’m a strong believer that breakfast is crucial to starting your day off right and this deliciously healthy recipe for Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey is perfect for getting your metabolism going! There’s no... Read More

The post New Year, New You: Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey! appeared first on The Glamorous Gourmet.

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New Year, New You: Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey!

Blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, mint, honey, breakfast

With the indulgence of the holidays behind us (literally!), January is the perfect time to renew our dedication to living a healthful existence. I’m a strong believer that breakfast is crucial to starting your day off right and this deliciously healthy recipe for Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey is perfect for getting your neurons and metabolism going! There’s no cooking or advance planning required other than purchasing ingredients; simply slice, arrange, and drizzle and it’s ready to go.

Blood oranges are named for the color of their flesh which is a gorgeous, deep, crimson-red. Most varieties look just like a regular navel orange we’re used to seeing here in Florida; it’s not until you cut into the fruit that the differences are readily apparent. The blood orange originated in Italy where it is still the primary orange grown and has a delicious tart, citrusy, herbal flavor that tastes like Aperol, the Italian liqueur (for more on Aperol, click here). As indicated by their rich color, blood oranges are higher in antioxidants than regular oranges and are also chock full of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber making them a very healthy and flavorful option. They can be served simply sliced in recipes like this one or used to make marmalades, compotes, cocktails, and granitas as well.

In order to slice the citrus you’ll need to remove the skin first which is much easier to do if the fruit has spent about a half hour in the fridge. Start by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit, giving yourself a firm base to work with. Then, using a sharp knife, start at the top of the fruit and slice from top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit in order to remove only the skin and white, bitter pith. It may take a few passes to get it all and once you’re done slice the fruit crosswise and you’ll have beautiful, jewel-like slices which you can then arrange on a platter. Once arranged, scatter the mint leaves over the citrus and drizzle with the acacia honey. The light taste and delicate sweetness of acacia honey really lets the wonderful flavor of the citrus to shine through (for more on acacia honey, click here). I really hope you enjoy this recipe and what are some of your favorite healthy breakfasts options? Please let me know in the comment section below!




Blood orange, grapefruit, lemon, mint, acacia honey, breakfast

“Blood Orange, Grapefruit, & Mint with Acacia Honey”
Serves 2-4

1 Blood Orange, peeled and sliced crosswise
1 Grapefruit, peeled and sliced crosswise
1 Meyer or regular lemon, peeled and sliced crosswise
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Acacia honey for drizzling

Arrange citrus slices on a platter overlapping the different colors. Once arranged, scatter fresh mint leaves over the citrus and then generously drizzle with the acacia honey. Enjoy!

Fast & Fabulous: Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula & White Bean Salad

Looking for a fast, fresh Summer salad that delivers lots of fabulous flavor and is also good for you? Well, look no further, this Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula and White Bean Salad is just the ticket! The flavors of the sweet red peppers, spicy arugula and creamy white beans meld together beautifully for a simple salad that is extremely satisfying. The beautiful colors of the ingredients will also transform your plate into a veritable feast for the eyes.

Now, there’s something I should probably tell you: this recipe does call for anchovies. (pause for reaction) However, you should definitely not let that deter you! The anchovies simply add a delicious salty, savory flavor (umami, if you will) to the dressing and I promise your family won’t even notice them. In fact, if they do I’ll treat you to a free month of Wine Club, that’s just how certain I am! So I invite you to take the “Anchovy Challenge” – I promise you and your family will be pleasantly surprised.

In addition to the delicious flavor of this salad, another plus is that it can also be prepared a few hours before serving. Just be sure to hold off on adding the arugula and the Parmesan cheese until right before serving so the greens don’t get soggy. Assemble it just before throwing your chicken or fish on the grill or even in the morning when you have a free minute. The longer the dressing melds with the beans the better! Also, if you happen to be a vegetarian, this salad makes an excellent lunch or light dinner option.

If you’re in the mood for wine with your meal (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) a great pairing for this dish would be a crisp, fresh California Sauvignon Blanc or Alsatian Riesling. You wouldn’t want something too tannic or oaky which would clash with the sweetness of the peppers and spice of the arugula.

I plan on putting this salad on regular rotation in our house. Paired with something light off the grill it rounds out a meal very nicely and can also be prepared in no time. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Now for the Culinary Question of the Day: What is the strangest dish you’ve ever eaten? Do tell!




Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula & White Bean Salad
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2013)

1 16 oz jar roasted red bell peppers (if you have the time, you can roast the peppers yourself)
2 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 15 oz can white beans (I like Bush’s Great Northern Beans), drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups fresh arugula

Remove peppers from jar and pat them dry with paper towels. Arrange on a platter and season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together anchovies, garlic, vinegar, oil, and parsley in a medium bowl. Add beans and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over peppers and top with Parmesan cheese and greens. Serves 4