Lentil, Veg & Bean Soup

Who doesn’t love a big bowl of soup, with chunks of warm bread and butter when the weather gets cold out? And here in Newcastle it is certainly doing that. When at work I have to put up with smell of soup all day- often two or three delicious soups. That I get to watch other people eat. So when I get in on a Tuesday and a Saturday I reach for a portion of this: my homemade lentil and veggie soup. Plenty of warming spices, colourful vegetables, and so of course plenty of nutrients to ward off colds. If, like me, you’re trying to up your protein and build some muscle (or even just want a more filling meal), then make a soup and sandwich combo (I love sourdough with butter, tomato, and quorn sausages), or have your bread on the side with two boiled eggs.

The best thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to suit yourself- just see the notes at the bottom of the post. I like a soup with liquid and then some chunks (think minestrone texture), but if you tend to like a dish that verges on stew territory then simply don’t add so much water.

Have fun making this and enjoy the finished product. I have a freezer full of the stuff to see me through long library sessions, rainy afternoons, and dark winter evenings…



Ingredients (Serves 4-5)

  • 1/2 cup red split lentils
  • 400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (its important to rinse them; the foamy residue that appears is what gives some people gas. Once this foam stops appearing they are rinsed enough)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 small courgette, chopped
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • white pepper, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2tsp madras curry powder
  • 1 scant tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2-1tsp chilli flakes (if you aren’t a fan of spice then go with the lower quantity!)
  • Large pinch turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 cups boiling water



Method

  • Finely chop the garlic, or crush it using a garlic press, and place into a large pan along with some olive, or spray, oil to prevent it sticking. Chop the onion into small chunks and add to the pan as well. Cook on a medium-low heat until golden.
  • Now add to the pan the carrot chunks, and cook for 1 minute before adding the courgette, and then the pepper. Cook lightly, and then add in the tinned tomatoes. Stir to incorporate, and then add all of the herbs and spices.
  • Make up your stock by adding 1 cup of boiling water to the stock cube, then pour into the mixture, along with your lentils. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the kale and the beans, along with 1-1.5 cups more water (you can add as much or as little as you like to give your ideal consistency); stir and allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes, until the kale has wilted and the beans heated through. Be careful when stirring so as not to break the beans up!
  • Serve with sourdough and butter to warm you up from the inside out- or divide into portions, cool, and freeze for a later date.

OPTIONS…

  • WHEN REHEATING! Defrost the soup overnight, and then place into a microwavable jug along with 1/4 cup of boiling water. Stir well and then heat in the microwave for 4 minutes: I find this gives the best consistency on reheating if you made quite a thick soup to begin with. 
  • ON THE VEGGIES…Feel free to add in whatever is floating around in the fridge and cupboards, and just the amount of water as you see fit. I’ve used sweet potato instead of beans in this, and also replaced the pepper with celery chunks before. This means you can make it super cheaply, and using whats in season at the time.
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