Soup, soup, soup. Â Funny how it never crops up much on our summer menu. Â The odd gazpacho if it is really hot outside (rarely) or a chilled courgette soup if the glut is overwhelming (it wasn’t this year). Â Generally though it is when the days cool that I want soup. Â I love soup – not only is it warming and cosy, but as it is often vegetable based it reassures you that it is doing you good whilst giving you that warm hug. Â Not to mention what a star it is when coming to use up vegetables you have too many of or those past their best and did I mention how cheap it is…
We eat a lot of soup for weekday lunches, partly as a fabulous quick warm healthy solution but also because for some maddening reason I can’t always sell the idea to my children. Â Tomato soup fine, creamy onion soup fine but anything green or pulsey they just won’t love. Â I keep on trying though. Â Whenever we have a tapas, picnic sort of weekend lunch in the cooler months, I tend to rustle up some kind of soup. Â Serve it to the children in little bowls with something yummy and crunchy to sprinkle on the top. Â This way not only is the amount not too daunting but there are other things for lunch if it is really poorly received. Â It seems to work this way but would be a different story I think if they were presented with a big bowl of soup and nothing else….
Red Lentil and Tomato Soup
1 onion chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
Small thumb of ginger peeled and grated
Large pinch of chilli flakes
Large pinch sea salt
70g red lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
50g creamed coconut
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/3 bunch coriander chopped (optional) I add for us, not for my children.
Soften the onion in the oil for a few minutes over a gentle heat, add the garlic, ginger, chilli and salt. Â Stir, add the lentils, stir again and add the coconut, tomatoes, stock and sugar. Â Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and have broken down. Â Add the coriander if using and blend with a stick blender or in a liquidiser. Â If you like you can serve the soup with a blob of yoghourt.
This is just fabulous to warm you up on a chilly blustery day. Â Delicious, wholesome, cheap and made pretty much from store cupboard ingredients. Â Extremely easy to make and you just know it is doing you good. Â Increase the chilli if you like it spicy or omit if serving to very small children.