Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Oh lordy, Kaya got sick today too. I have been up to my elbows in sick and worse all day and now they've gone to bed I have put all the sofa covers in the washing machine, Dettol-ed everything in sight and now finally sat down with a slice of cherry pie and a cup of tea. Thankfully both boys seem to have improved, so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
New Girl is about to start, YAY! And later, Dallas. So it's not all bad :) And I wanted to share a nice soup recipe in light of all the crappy weather we've had lately! So enjoy, and keep warm and healthy!

This is actually a recipe I just made up one day when trying to think of delicious and nutritious foods for Onur and Kaya. It's one you can play around with, adding stuff you like and taking out stuff you don't and, unlike most of my recipes, it doesn't have weights or measurements! However, lentils do take a while to cook down (unless you have a pressure cooker) and to be very honest, the more you let this soup cook, the tastier it gets! On the plus side, once all the ingredients are in, you can pretty much go about your business and let everything just hang out in the pan until you're ready!

You will need: (please note all numbers are approximate - you can add more or less according to taste, the recipe is very forgiving!)

2 onions
3 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 potato
2 handfuls of cauliflower florets
About 300g of lentils
Chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil

First, do your prep. Chop up your onions, carrots and celery into one bowl, and yo
ur cauliflower
and potato into a second, as they'll go into the soup later. Add two tablespoons
of olive oil to your saucepan (or as Rachael Ray would say, two times around the pan!) and heat it up. Add your onions, carrots and celery and turn the heat down low.

Fry until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent.

Once you've got to this stage, add your lentils and stir them into the vegetables. On top of this add your stock (I haven't stated how much, but start off with a litre, you can always add more later, and with lentils you can never have too much liquid as they soak up loads!) and bring to a boil.

When your soup is boiling, reduce the heat down and wait about 15 minutes for the lentils to fade in colour and begin to open up. This is the time to add your potatoes and cauliflower.

And then you just let it cook down, adding water where needed because those lentils really do drink up the liquid! However, it's totally up to you how liquid-y you want it, I prefer my soups thick and satisfying rather than watery.

Aside from the lentils (obviously!) there are three ingredients to this recipe that I would strongly suggest you leave in, even if you change the recipe, simply because they add so much flavour-wise. These three ingredients are what the French call "Mirepoix", the Cajun and Creole community call the holy trinity, but to you and I they are just plain old onions, carrots and celery :) It is essentially a flavour base for so many recipes, and they are just vegetables that everyone has in their kitchen, but once you fry them together they combine to give amazing flavour to your food!

Hope you enjoy your soup! Afiyet Olsun! (That's the Turkish equivalent of Bon Appetit!)


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