Saturday, 28 March 2015

Red lentil soups

Creamy red lentil soups, winter theme

Red lentil is my winter staple. It is a great filler, a wonderful thickener, comes with protein and fiber, and matches well with any winter veg. My favourite vegetables for red lentil soup are: sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, and pumpkin.

It is so easy to make a red lentil soup, it is quick too (no need for soaking overnight), easy to digest, and no need for additional thickener to make it smooth and creamy.

It starts with gently braising some onion (a white onion, shallots or leeks) with a small amount of oil (coconut or sunflower). Adding some spices (whole black mustard, cumin, coriander, fennel seeds), allowing them to come alive, then adding the red lentils, fresh garlic and ginger, ground turmeric, and finally the chosen veg.

Always wash the red lentils well. I put them in a bowl and wash them by hand, changing the water several times, until the water finally stays clear. I let the lentils soak for 10-15 mins (while I prepare the onion base), then I drain through a strainer, making it ready to add to the spiced onions.

I first cook the lentils before adding the veg, so the vegetables only cook for the minimum amount of time to retain as much nutrients as possible. When the veg are done, a hand held blender finishes the job.

Red lentil and pumpkin soup

Leeks, red lentil, carrot, and pumpkin.

Red lentil and sweet potato soup

Shallots, red lentil, sweet potato.

Red lentil and butternut squash soup

Onion, red lentil, butternut squash.

Red lentil and roasted pepper soup

Leeks, red lentil, roasted red pepper.

Red lentil and sweet potato soup with rosemary focaccia

Red lentil and sw.potato & b.squash soup with hemp seeds

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