The way I cook and consequently the way we eat, has changed so much over the years. Rather than creating complicated gourmet style meals, my cooking style has become very simple. Each week, I depend on seasonal, fresh, organic vegetables to be the stars of our meals and I truly believe, this is the way it should be.
That’s not to say all we eat is vegetable based meals, because that wouldn’t be true. We eat very good quality local and grass fed meat, organic chicken, local free range eggs, well prepared grains and of course…the odd indulgence in fish n’ chips. But these ingredients are expensive for a family of five and so we make the most of them, minimising waste and maximising flavour with herbs from the garden, lots of spices and a lot of garlic!
I think it actually makes cooking a much more pleasurable thing to do.
Super Simple Vegetable + Lentil Soup
This is a really simple soup that is warming, nourishing and good for the soul and the budget! You can really add any vegetables you have in the fridge or garden. Keep this soup in the fridge for easy lunches and tasty after school snacks.
Ingredients – use organic if possible.
(for a big batch – I keep mine chunky)
2 T Coconut oil
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 celery stalks, chopped
2tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground turmeric or 1 T of freshly grated turmeric
2 carrots, chopped into chunky pieces
2 zucchinis, chopped into chunky pieces
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
A chunk of pumpkin, chopped
1/2 sweet potato, chopped
4 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped or one tin of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of well rinsed, split red lentils
2 cups of vegetable or home made chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Hot water from the kettle
Parsley to garnish
Parmesan or pesto to garnish
What to do
To a large pot, add the coconut oil and bring to medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring for a good five minutes. Add the garlic, celery and spices and cook stirring for another 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the vegetables and cook, stirring for five minutes, then add the tomatoes, lentils, stock and bay. Use hot water from the kettle to top up the liquid ensuring all vegetables are well covered.
Simmer for around an hour, until the vegetables are soft. If you have fussy, non-chunky-soup-eaters in the family, you can blend this soup to a puree if you wish.
Serve with hot buttered toast, lots of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, shavings of parmesan, a sprinkle of parsley and a dollop of pesto if you desire. A glass of lovely red wine might help bring it to another level as they say on Masterchef too!
I’d love to know your favourite simple soup flavour combinations! Share them with me in the comments below.
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