Wednesday, 16 October 2013

For the Good of my Health - Recipe Time - Vegetable & Red Split Lentil Soup

Now I know I've started adding baking recipes to my blog but I'm expanding, healthy-esque recipes. I'm one of those cooks that is "creative", or should that be experimental? I like to find ways of also doing the things I love in a healthier way so I figure posting them on here and keeping an index is as good as way (plus very modern) to keep track. I do have my own recipe binder which is badly stuffed with clippings and notes so this is also much more organised.

I do love to cook as well as bake but for nearly a year I've been poorly, boo hoo, and around half of that time I've been bed-bound. I've wanted to make it easier on my partner and family so what I've eaten has been pretty simple. Now I'm nearly back in action I want to really think about what I eat.

I'm a good girl when it comes to eating veg, I do love it, I always overfill my plate but this week I've had a bug and felt rotten. I wanted lovely soup, not soup in a can or even a carton but made at home soup so I know how much of everything is going in. Some canned soup I can find to be unnecessarily fatty or salty and making soup at home is so easy. I mean soup is not much more than a load of ingredients boiled and eaten together, sometimes blended! There are fancy soup makers out there that I do love the look of, I'm a sucker for a kitchen gadget, but a pan is just as good. So here goes.

There was once a wonderful soup by Knorr, chunky vegetable, the type you get in a carton but not in the fresh aisle, I haven't seen them for years nor any non-fresh soup cartons at least in the UK. So this can be considered and ode to that one although the only resemblance is how chunky it is.

Now I don't get much protein, I've been a vegetarian for years but I don't really think about how much protein I get so I've added some lovely lentils for a boost. I was tempted to call this soup "Plenty of veg, hidden protein" but I realised that was just terrible.

Ingredients Serves 4 or more

100g Red Split Lentils
200g Broccoli
175g Carrots
Half an onion
100g white potato
1 clove of garlic
1 pint of water
1tsp Sunflower oil
Salt & Pepper to season

There really isn't much to this soup but the balance of flavours works well together.

Nutritional Value (If using the amounts above without adding more water, the soup can be thinned out.)

Calories 150  Carbohydrates 24g  Fat 2g  Saturated fat 0g  Protein 9g

This is a pretty simple mix, peel what you need to then cut everything into small pieces. Add the onions and pressed garlic into a frying pan with just a little bit of oil, a teaspoon will do. This is a technique I do for anything I want to fry, steam fry. To do this take a little bit of oil, use a frying pan with a lid, anything done like this needs to be done on a low heat but some things just work best fried (eggs) so you can still enjoy them with only a little bit of fat.

Once the onions and garlic start to soften but not brown, add the carrots and potato. Fry for a few minutes before placing in a large pan with the broccoli plus well washed lentils along with a pint of water. I like my soup thick which is why I only added a pint but add as much water as needed, especially if it starts to dry out. This mix could easily serve 6. So now just boil everything together. Once it all starts to soften just use a hand blender to make a very thick, filling soup, don't be tempted to drain any water beforehand as a lot of nutrients will go with it. Oh and please beware you may end up covered in boiling hot soup goodness so either take it easy or get someone else to do it.

Boil, Blend, Bloomin' done
As you can see my soup is very thick so do what is best for you. Also, I always wait until the soup is done to season as I try and use as little salt as possible. This soup is lovely goodness, especially with knot rolls or a chunky sandwich! 

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