Who says soup isn’t a filing meal?
We came back from Festival Number 6 on Monday in desperate need of nutrients. Although we ate well all weekend (maybe a little too well – post to follow on the fab-ness of the food), I was hankering after some veg, some fibre and a hit of vitamins! With the carrots in my garden being ready for using right now, I decided to whip up a pan of spiced carrot and lentil soup to get me back in the land of the living.
I like adding lentils to soup because I think they help to make soup more of a meal. Let me explain. We often have soup on a Monday night because I try and do a gym class and am too knackered to cook afterwards. We can both eat a pre-made soup with a chunk of bread and a couple of hours later, be looking for something to pick at. But if I make soup with lentils added, the protein they provide mean that we feel fuller for longer. And once they are pulverised, you wouldn’t even know they were in there.
Gourmet Garden sent me some of their lightly dried herbs to try.* As the name suggests they lightly dry them to extend the life they can sit in your fridge. They’ll sit happily for four weeks. I’ve been using the parsley in a BBQ marinade and the basil in lasagne and the really are ‘like fresh’ once they are dropped in. I particularly like the coriander, the smell of it is really sweet and it is chopped finer than I could ever manage! One packet is equivalent of a large handful fresh, so just right for this recipe.
This soup makes a great lunch or evening meal as the lentils make it more filling than your average carrot soup. Add a warmed wrap or chunk of fresh bread on the side and you’re good to go.
This carrot and lentil soup will fill you up *and* make you feel good - a no brainer and quick to make too.
- 4 large carrots
- 2 shallots
- 1 stick of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 packet Garden Gourmet lightly dried coriander Or a large handful of fresh, finely chopped
- 80 g red lentils
- Olive oil
- 1 l vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
If you have a food processor, mince up the carrots, celery, garlic and shallots. If not, chop them as finely as possible.
Add a glug of oil to the pan and warm to a low/medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, shallots, tumeric, cumin and ground corriander and sweat for 3-5 mins.
Add the stock, and half of the lightly dried coriander and bring to a boil. Simmer.
If you minced the veg it will only need 5 minutes to simmer. If you chopped, give it around 10-15 minutes. Make sure the veg is soft.
Remove from heat and, using a stick blender, blend to smooth.
Add the remaining coriander. Check seasoning and add salt/pepper if desired.
At this point you can serve as is- it will be a lovely thick soup. Or you can add 250ml of hot water to thin it out slightly.
Mincing the veg in a food processor, or using the grate plate, means it needs less time cooking. This not only gets it on the table faster but it keeps more of the nutrients in than if you are simmering large chunks for a longer period.
*Thank you to Gourmet Garden for providing the coriander for this recipe.