Winter vegetable and lentil soup
What better way to keep out those chills than have a bowl of warming and nutritious homemade soup. Feel free to adjust the vegetables and add in whatever is to hand. But always use the lentils as it adds protein and fibre, therefore making the soup really hearty and filling.
Makes 4 x 300g servings = which can be frozen
230 calories per portion
150g dried red lentils
1 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
½ vegetable stock cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder
½ litre of hot water
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli
1 bay leave (optional)
Salt and pepper
Dash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh herbs
Wash all the vegetables but only peel the swede. Both the parsnips and the potatoes can keep their peel (to retain more fibre and nutrients). Chop in to bite sized pieces
I use a pressure cooker for this soup as it reduces the cooking time, But if you don’t have one then use a large pan. Add the oil to the pan and warm before adding the leeks. Cook on their own for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to stop them colouring too much. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir. After a few minutes add the chilli, spices, bay leaves, garlic, stock cube dissolved in the hot water and tinned tomatoes.
Give the whole lot a big stir and then add in the dried lentils. With another big stir
If you are using a pressure cooker at this point add the lid and wait for a steady stream of steam to be produced add the weight, turn down the gas to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes.
If you are just using a large pan, cover with a lid, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (storing regularly), or until all the veg are nice and soft and the lentils have broken down
Have a taste and then season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon and some chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander
You can leave the soup nice and chunky or use a stick blender to make it smooth. This will thicken the soup so add some more hot water, until you reached the desired consistency.
It may mean that you then get an extra portion so the recipe will have 5 not 4 servings in which case the calorie per portion will reduce to 200
The soup can be kept covered in the fridge for 3 days. Any uneaten portions can be frozen and defrosted and reheated before eating
As a chunky soup it can quickly be turned in to a versatile casserole by adding cooked veggie/vegan sausages or Quorn
As a smooth soup it can be used as a protein rich topping for jacket potatoes or a filling for a veggie shepherds pie
Please share if you have other creative ways of using this versatile recipe