Whenever the weather is a bit miserable (which in the north east is quite frequently!), I always feel like rustling up spicy vegetable and lentil soup, followed by apple and rhubarb crumble and custard.
Spicy Carrot and Lentil Soup
2 garlic cloves, 1 onion, 3 medium/2 large potatoes, 4/5 carrots, 4 tbsp red lentils, salt, pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1. Fill the kettle and switch it on. Chop the onion and crush the garlic cloves under the flat of the knife blade. Peel the potatoes and chop into cubes approx. 2cm square. Peel the carrots and slice.
2. Heat the oil in a large stock pot and saute all the ingredients except for the lentils for a few minutes, stirring to prevent them sticking to the pan. Add the lentils and fry for another minute or two. Add freshly boiled water from the kettle to just cover the contents, put the lid on and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through.
3. Blitz with a stick blender to your desired consistency (you may need to add a little more water if it is too thick), check the seasoning and serve.
4. Ideas for serving: toasted wholemeal bread, sausages (see pic below), dollop of natural yoghurt or creme fraiche.
It’s as simple as that! Very cheap, very easy, very healthy, very tasty. A tick in every box!