Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup

20131109-130604.jpgIt’s been so very cold recently. Cold, blustery days are upon us and, being the UK, will stay with us for the next 9 months. Today is proper miserable and all I want to do is hide under the duvet, drink hot drinks, surround myself with hot water bottles and eat comforting food.

I love soups in this type of weather. It’s tasty, versatile, easy and has top marks in the comforting scale. You can have it in a bowl or simply pour some into a nice big mug, achieving both warming of the hands and the heart.

Desperate therefore for some of that warmth, I went to the kitchen in search of ingredients. You know when you reach that point where you are in need of a food shopping and all you have is leftovers of random ingredients? The bottom of a rice bag, a lonely carrot, a sad shrivelled leek, etc. That was (actually still is, food shopping will be done later today) the situation I was in. Hmmmm what to make, what to make…oh hello very ripe tomatoes!

Ok so I had some tomatoes that needed using…I went to the spice drawer and there was a little bit of this and a little bit of that…then to our pantry…not much there but there was a tiny bit of red lentils left and a can of coconut milk…
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As you know, I don’t tend to post meals here very much at all. For one, by the time I cook I am so desperate for food that the thought of setting it up and taking pictures puts me in a state of panic. What if I collapse from hunger while trying to take a decent picture? Which, believe me, can often take ages and many shots to get something even nearing ok. Living in a cottage is lovely but the lighting here is awful. And now with the light going by 4pm, it makes it near impossible. The other reason is, as I’ve previously mentioned, that my passion in making is baking. My passion in eating is everything else. 20131109-130841.jpgSo, despite the fact I don’t post meals, I couldn’t not post this soup. It came from ‘let’s see what I can do with this’ and it turned out warmly delicious. It is now going on my ‘recipes to make again’ book and so I just had to share. That, and the fact I wasn’t bordering death by hunger so I was able to take some pictures. 20131109-131006.jpg

Recipe for a Lentil, Tomato and Coconut soup (makes enough for 4 portions)

Ingredients

– 1 onion
– 1 celery stick (including leafy head)
– 1 chilli
– 2 bulbs of garlic
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsb ground cumin
– 4 or 5 tomatoes
– 90g red lentils
– 1 x 400ml can of light coconut milk
– 1ltr of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan over medium heat drizzle some olive oil. Chop your onion and cook on a low to medium heat until going soft. Then slice your celery stick and add to the pan, same with the chilli. Mix everything and cook it for a few minutes. Then add your crushed garlic and cook for a further minute. Add your spices, the turmeric, coriander and cumin. While it’s cooking roughly chop your tomatoes and add to the pan with a sprinkle of pepper. Add the lentils and mix everything well so all ingredients are coated in the spices. Pour the coconut milk, mix and then pour your stock. Mix well and bring it to the boil. Simmer for 20min. Season.

Before blending leave to cool a little. Blend and serve as it is or sprinkle some crispy bacon and herbs. If you prefer a non-meat option I think some nicely toasted croutons would taste brilliant. Or a sprinkling of mixed seeds.20131109-131103.jpg xoxo

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