A big thank you to everyone that’s been entering my giveaways! I love hosting giveaways on my blog so make sure you keep those entries coming… the more popular the giveaways are, the more likely it is that companies will offer me more great stuff to give away in the future 🙂
I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the lucky winners of two recent giveaways…
Simona, winner of Joni Marie Newman & Celine Steen’s Home-Cooked Vegan Comfort Food
Susie W, winner of Chris & Carolyn Caldicott’s World Food Cafe Quick and Easy
The giveaway for Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking For Two -or- Just for You is open until 31st October, so there’s still plenty of time to enter. This is the book that encouraged me to buy a slow cooker and I’m so pleased that I took the plunge! I’ve used it loads already for cooking main meals, large batches of beans, scrumptious rice puddings (a childhood favourite of mine!) and, of course, Kathy’s amazing Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading all your comments under the giveaway entries. I love the sound of so many of the foods that you’ve tried during your travels. We should definitely try and re-create them! I’ve also loved reading all about your favourite comfort foods. Curry and soups were popular responses, and I’m with you on those!
Now that the weather’s taken a turn for the worse here in the UK, I can feel the shift towards ‘comfort food’ mode in my cooking, and curries and soups are making weekly appearances on our table in one form or another. One of my current favourite dishes is a lightly curried vegetable and lentil soup. I think I’ve made this soup three times in as many weeks! We’ve been enjoying it at weekends, either for Saturday lunch or Sunday supper. I’ve been having the spare portions for lunch during the week, while Lil’ L’s been taking a flask of soup with him to school 🙂
As well as tasting yummy, this soup is packed to the brim with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The addition of lentils also gives the soup a great iron and protein boost.
It’s a very filling soup, so it can easily be served as a main meal, alongside some chunky pieces of wholegrain bread or warm garlic bread.
Here’s how we make it:
½ TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5cm / 1 inch piece of root ginger, peeled and finely grated
¼ tsp turmeric
½ – 1 tsp ground cumin (use lesser amount for small children)
½ tsp garam masala*
140g / 5 oz / ¾ cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 medium courgette (zucchini), sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ medium head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets (or use frozen cauliflower florets)
1 litre / 35 fl oz / 4 cups vegetable stock
60ml / 2 fl oz / ¼ cup almond milk (or milk of choice), optional
Flaked almonds and sesame seeds, lightly toasted for garnish
Fresh coriander (cilantro), for garnish
* I use an Indian brand of garam masala which is very spicy. The supermarket brands tend to be a lot milder. Feel free to add more garam masala, to taste.
– Chop the veggies
– Prepare the vegetable stock
Ready, set, go…
1. Brush the bottom of a large saucepan with oil and sauté the onion until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the lentils until they are coated in the spices. Add the veggies and 800ml / 27 fl oz / 3½ cups of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the lentils are soft.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan (skillet) on medium heat and dry fry some flaked almonds and sesame seeds until lightly browned.
3. When the lentils and veggies are cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending smooth with a stick (immersion) or jug blender. Add the remaining stock, if needed, to reach the desired consistency. Return to the heat and gently warm through. Taste test and add salt, pepper and more spice, as desired. For a creamy soup, swirl in a little milk. Serve in warm bowls with a sprinkling of toasted almonds, sesame seeds and fresh coriander garnish.
This recipe has been shared at Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve posted a number of family-favourite soup recipes. Now that we’re in ‘soup season’ I thought I’d collate the recipes to make them easier to find. I’ve added a dedicated ‘Soups‘ page to the blog, which can be accessed via the Recipes page.
Next on my ‘to try’ list is a slow-cooked minestrone soup. I’ve seen some really cute wholegrain mini pasta stars in my local health food store that I’m dying to try out 🙂 Have you been making any soups lately? What’s your all-time favourite soup?