Since I moved to London soups have become a regular part of my diet. Easy to prepare, they offer the perfect option to pack a variety of vegetables, pulses and seeds into one simple dish. Soups are the emblem of healthy and hearty food, not to mention the fact that their versatility make them the perfect hot and comfort food in wintertime while their cold version is an ideal refreshing alternative in summertime.
This spicy lentil and carrot soup with fresh Thyme is really easy and quick to prepare. It serves 4 and is perfect to be frozen.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 3 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into thick slices
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
- 1 Canned Lentils (400g)
- 1/2 Canned tomato
- Fresh Thyme
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cayenne pepper
- Small handful of toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp)
- Kombu Seaweed Strip (optional)
- Greek yogurt (optional)
- In a large saucepan/casserole, heat the olive oil gently then add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery to the pan. Fry over a gentle heat till soft.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, and salt to the pan and fry gently for another 5 mins, stirring regularly.
- Add 2 cups of hot water, and a small strip of Kombu stirring well, then pop a lid on the pan and simmer the soup for approx 20 -25 mins, or until lentils and carrots are soft.
- Pour the soup into bowls and add fresh thyme and cayenne pepper.
- Finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt (optional) and a sprinkling of toasted seeds
Whenever possible, always opt for organic ingredients. For this recipe I used:
- Biona Organic Canned Lentils Vert 400g
- Organic Plum Tomatoes Waitrose
- Organic Vegetables from my weekly Abel & Cole veg box
- Omega booster seeds from my weekly Graze box
- Kombu Seaweed Strips are Japanese sea vegetables, rich in iron, fiber and other minerals and are used to make bean-based soups more digestible.
Lentils can be really considered a superfood: excellent source of iron; good source of filling, cholesterol-lowering fiber; and a source of protein. They also offer good to excellent amounts of two B-vitamins and six key minerals.
Brimming with soluble fiber, which is crucial to satisfying hunger and reducing appetite, this recipe will give the feeling you need to avoid temptation and help with weight loss.
Furthermore, this lentil soup can easily be turned into a nutritious and healthy family and baby meal. Once cooked, simply whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. It can be served plain or with pasta. I have been making this recipe for my daughter since she was 10 months old and still now it is one of her favorites. Moreover, this recipe is perfect to be filled with other vegetables such as squash, potatoes or green veggies.