Only the pure in heart can make a good soup – Ludwig van Beethoven
January is the time for curling up on the sofa with a big bowl of steaming hot soup, feeling warm and snuggly. It’s like central heating for the soul! As I can’t eat onions (who knew they’re in pretty much everything?!) I struggle to find any ready made soups from the supermarket as onion tends to be a staple ingredient. So I’ve started to make my own soups, and so far I’m loving the flavours.
There’s also something satisfying about making your own soup, blending it together and heating it up in a pan for lunch the next day with a few slices of warm buttered toast. It fills you up without feeling sluggish after and is a great way of sneaking in left over vegetables that may otherwise have been thrown out at the end of the week.
This soup will last in the fridge for up to 5 days, making the perfect dish to take to work, and it really couldn’t be any simpler.
Here’s how I made it…
You will need:
- 250g of carrots (approx 2 large carrots)
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 200g dried red lentils
- 1.5 litres of stock (I used beef stock but vegetable will work great too)
- 20g of fresh finger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to season
How to make:
Prepare the carrots and red pepper by roughly slicing into coin sized pieces, boil the kettle to make the stock (if using a stock cube) and set a pan on a medium heat. Add the vegetables, stock and red lentils to the pan, stirring together.
Next thinly slice the garlic and ginger, and add to the pan with the rest of the spices. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Leave to cool slightly before adding to a blender (I use my NutriBullet and blend in batches) and blend until smooth, or use a hand blender in the pan whilst still warm. Serve hot with toasted bread and butter!
This is such a quick and simple curry to make, it’s ideal for a mid-week dinner and easy to make extra and save for lunch the next day. It’s also great to freeze, which is always good knowing you’ve got a tasty and nutritious meal ready to dive into when time’s short!
The best part of the curry is adding the lime. It’s such an important part of this dish, it really brings the flavours to life – so don’t skip that bit!
Here’s how I made it…
- 400ml tin of coconut milk (I used the reduced fat version)
400g chickpeas, cooked
- 1 aubergine
- 1/2 red pepper
- 200ml of stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp of chopped ginger
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of garam masala
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric
- 1 tsp of chilli flakes
- 1 tsp of tamari (soy sauce)
- 1 tsp of maple syrup
- juice of half a lime
- ground black pepper to season
- handful of fresh basil
In a medium pan, add the coconut milk, garlic, ginger and stock. Dice the aubergine and red pepper into small cubes and stir in. Next add the dry spices (cumin, garam masala, turmeric and chilli flakes) and stir well. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse, add to the pan with the tamari sauce and maple syrup and leave to cook for a further 5 minutes. Just before serving, squeeze in the lime juice and season with ground pepper.
Serve with rice and garnish with fresh basil.
Really craving this comfort food right now! If anyone fancies making it me, here’s my recipe…
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp of ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp of tomato purée
- 1 roasted red pepper (jar)
- 200g chopped tomatoes
- 400g cooked borlotti beans
In a medium pan add the garlic, ginger and chopped tomatoes. I use tinned tomatoes as it’s much quicker! Chop the roasted red pepper into small pieces and add to the pan, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 10 minutes until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Serve over toast, I loaded mine on top of homemade garlic spelt bread.
It’s one of my favourite healthy snacks, you can add them to lots of different dishes or just munch them as they are! Here’s how I made them:
- 400g of cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan). Drain the chickpeas and dry them in a clean tea towel, discard any shells as they can burn easily. In a pan, heat the rest of the ingredients until liquid, add the chickpeas to the pan and stir until covered. Pour onto a tray and into the oven, bake for 30 mins but shake them every 10 mins to stop them burning. I added 100g of pecans and took them out after the first 10 mins. Munch away!