Soups

Spicy Red Lentil Soup (4 Portions)

This is a very warming soup, perfect for a winters night after a day of study, leftovers can easily be frozen – freeze in individual portions for a future, easy supper!

It is quite spicy, I would add less chilli the first time you make it, as you can always add more chilli flakes at the end of cooking, it’s one of those recipes which you have to let your taste buds lead you!.. (Toasted Naan breads are good with this soup!)

*You will need a handheld blender (or a food processor) to purée the soup, but it is possible to buy these quite cheaply, and they are a great investment for other recipe (I found this one, from Russell Hobbs, on Amazon for around £12).

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

A little groundnut oil

A small thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated

3 cloves garlic, peeled

4 tomatoes, quartered

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1-2 small red chillies (less to taste – see note above)

1-2 teaspoons of dried chilli flakes (less to taste – see note above)

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 litre vegetable stock (I use ‘Marigold Swiss Vegetable Boullion’)

A small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped

Sea salt

  1. In a heavy based saucepan, gently fry the onion in the groundnut oil, until softened but not coloured.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cook until the seeds start to pop a little.
  3. Add the lentils, ginger, garlic cloves, tomatoes, chopped and dried chillies and the ground turmeric, stir well before adding the stock.
  4. Bring to the boil, skim off any froth that appears on the surface. Lower the temperature and simmer for 20 minutes or so until the lentils have softened and have started to fall apart.
  5. Add most of the chopped coriander (keep some back to serve). Use a handheld blender (see note above) or a food processor to blend the soup until smooth. Serve sprinkled with a the remaining chopped coriander.

Simple Butternut Squash Soup (Serves 4)

Butternut Squash Soup

This really is a straightforward recipe, no ‘bells or whistles’, it simply focuses on the lovely flavour of the butternut squash. You can use either vegetable stock (I use Marigold Swiss Vegetable Boullion Powder) or water. You will need a handheld blender (or a food processor) to purée the soup, but it is possible to buy these quite cheaply, and they are a great investment for other recipes (I found this one, from Russell Hobbs, on Amazon for around £12).

You could just serve this soup as it is, or spice it up with a sprinkling of chilli flakes and some freshly chopped sage. To make it really special serve with a spoonful of créme fraiche swirled through!

This recipe makes about four portions, leftovers can be frozen in individual portions for a future, easy supper!

This is great served with Crusty Bread or why not make gluten free Oat Bread (recipe here), which is not only delicious and super easy to make, but it also freezes well once sliced!

1 butternut squash, about 700g when peeled and cubed

2 banana shallots, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

25g unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

About 600ml vegetable stock or water (see note above)

Salt and pepper

To Serve:

Chilli flakes (optional)

4 -6 sage leaves, finely chopped (optional)

A few spoonfuls of crème fraiche to serve (optional)

  1. Peel, halve and deseed the butternut squash, cut into 3cm cubes.
  2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic. Cook gently until softened but not coloured.
  3. Add the butternut squash, stir and pour over enough stock or water to just cover the squash. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes until completely cooked  and very tender – a knife should pass through easily.
  4. Blend in the saucepan using a stick blender (or you can use a food processor). If you want a ‘looser’ soup add a little milk. Check the seasoning.
  5. Serve in bowls with a dollop of crème fraiche swirled through and a sprinkling of chilli flakes and freshly chopped sage.