Full of chunky vegetable goodness
Is it winter again?
Funny question, but yesterday we woke up to a white morning. Everything was covered in snow, even the rooftops. For a moment I thought it was Christmas. The trees and lawns looked beautiful, but this was only short-lived. As the day wore on, the snow slowly melted. It was really sad to see it go…
Because of that false alarm, I decided to make some winter soup. I made this soup several times during winter, because it’s so filling and sort of moves me off the radar of meat. But as I have mentioned before, I’m such a carnivore, I sneaked in some smoked bacon at the start of the cooking. I love the smell of cooking bacon, (who doesn’t?) and it enhances the flavour of the soup. (I have to justify why I always sneak in some meaty ingredient when I am cooking).
Sorry for being so rude, and talking about me, me, me, without taking you into consideration. How was your week? And what about your weekend? I hope everything was great for you; if it wasn’t then I hope at least the coming week will be better or even awesome for you.
Now back to the soup. It’s a very interesting soup with lots of leek, yum! I love leek, and I hope you do too; fresh tomatoes, (if you feel lazy, just throw in some canned chunk tomatoes); swede (I didn’t have any left over) carrots, turnips and sweet potatoes. The main ingredients here are lentils, leek, onions and tomatoes; the rest is left to your imagination. I virtually collected all the left over vegetables from previous cooking and I even added some Kale. As I mentioned before, the beauty of ‘from the scratch cooking’ is, you can control what you add to your soup and adjust everything according to your palate and moods. And this soup can be made outside winter. I hope you enjoy eating the soup, yes eating because it’s full chunky vegetable goodness!
I basically used left over vegetables from previous cooking, so I added Kale and continued to simmer for another 5 minutes (You can add shredded spinach or cabbage if you like), and grated rind and juice of orange if using, at this point. . Adjust seasoning, add more stock if soup is too thick, and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro, if preferred and discard the bay leaves. Serve immediately, with crusty bread.
Winter Lentil Vegetabel Soup
Preparation time: 20 minutes; Cooking time: 40 minutes; Serves: 4-6
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other of your choice
- 75g (3oz) streaky bacon, trimmed and chopped into small pieces (optional)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks leeks, trimmed, washed thoroughly and sliced
- 100g (½ cup, 4oz) red lentils, washed thoroughly
- I medium carrot peeled and cut into cubes
- 100g (4oz) turnips peeled and cubes
- 100g (4oz) sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
- 750-1000ml (3-4 cups, 25-33fl oz) vegetable or chicken stock
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) tomato paste, blended with 2 tablespoons of water
- 400g (14oz) ripe tomatoes, washed, skinned, deseeded and chopped (3 large) or a 540ml (19oz) can of chunk tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- Grated rind and juice of 1 small orange (optional)
- 100g (4oz) kale shredded or spinach or cabbage (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley or cilantro (coriander), if preferred
- Heat oil in a large pan. Fry bacon until lightly browned, add onions and leek and gently sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add lentils, carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes, continue to sauté for a further 5 minutes.
- Add 750ml (3 cups) stock, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and bay leaves, Bring to the boil, cover pan, reduce heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- Stir in kale (if using) and grated rind and juice of the orange, continue simmering for a further 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro (coriander) if preferred, discard bay leaves, and serve immediately with crusty bread. Add more stock if it’s too thick.
- If preferred, soup can be blended until smooth. Add a little stock to help in blending. Reheat until piping hot.
- You can use left over vegetables of your choice.
Points to note:
- I used red split lentils which cook in 10-12 minutes, if you use another type of lentils, you will need to adjust the time accordingly.