Scottish Lentil Soup

Cheap, nutritious and easily vegan. My camera isn’t working at the moment so no pictures this time. This should make about three portions but mess with the proportions all you like as I measured by eye.

  • One onion
  • Two carrots
  • One rib of celery or celery leaves
  • Red lentils
  • Veg stock or ham hock
  • Frozen peas (optional but added because more veg is good)
  • Mixed herbs or thyme and parsley to taste

If you want to make it more delicious then fry the aromatics after you’ve chopped them before boiling it all up. If you’re looking for healthier just dump them all in the pot, it’ll still taste good. Make sure you boil the lentils for ten minutes to denature the enzymes. It also freezes well and if you don’t have celery to hand it’s still good without it.

 

Spicy cauliflower soup

I put together this recipe because I’d heard so much about the wonders of roasting cauliflower before you use it in a soup that I wanted to try it for myself, but I’m afraid to say its not worth it. It did nothing for the flavour and was just a waste of time and electricity. On the other hand the soup itself was good and so I’m going to share the recipe anyway. This makes a lot of soup, I think its at least six servings, possibly more.

 

Medium sized cauliflower

One bunch of spring onions

Two white onions (though any cooking onions will do)

One large head of garlic

Two inches of ginger

Four handfuls of green lentils (sorry this isn’t more exact but I measured this one by eye)

One can coconut milk

Four tea spoons Panch Phoran

One tea spoon of dried Piri Piri chili’s (you can substitute this for any other kind of chili if you like)

Two tea spoons coriander seed

Two tea spoons yellow mustard seeds

Two or three bayleaves

Three or four portions of stock (again I use knorr vegetable stock pots but this is a personal preference)

Vegetable oil

 

Start by frying the dried spices and chop the onions, garlic, ginger and spring onions before adding them too. You can chop them roughly because we’re going to be blending the result and this part is just to bring out the flavour. While doing this I roasted the cauliflower at 260º C (that’s 500º F) having rubbed it in oil, for twenty minutes. Again, I found this step completely pointless but if you’re someone who can taste the difference between roasted and un-roasted cauliflower in soup then go ahead. When ready to add the cauliflower, roasted or not, cut it into small chunks and add them to the pan, cover with water and add the stock and ground coriander (if the stock is liquid stock only add enough water to make sure the cauliflower is covered). If the cauliflower is not pre-cooked then simmer until its soft first, and then blend with a hand blender until the soup has a smooth consistency. Add a tin of coconut milk, the bay leaves and as many green lentils as you judge necessary to get the right consistency (I used four handfulls) and cook on high heat for ten minutes to denature the enzymes before simmering for at least half an hour. If you want you can wait until the entire soup is cooked before blending if you don’t want the texture of the lentils in the soup, you can also add extra liquid and more lentils if you want to stretch the soup.

I find this is an excellent cold cure.