It’s a good while since I’ve updated. Between home renovations (hello, working bathroom!) and family commitments, I’ve struggled to find time to blog – even when I’ve really missed it.
Recently though, I’ve been unwell for a couple of months and I feel very fortunate to be starting to recover now. Blogging has been a really positive experience so I’m determined to pick this site up again and run with it.
While not feeling so great, I’ve had next to no appetite and very little mental or physical energy for cooking. So this soup has been an absolute necessity around once a week. I’ve found the peeling and chopping quite a cathartic and relaxing task – but frozen or pre-prepared veg would work just as well.
The aim of this soup was to be nourishing, filling and above all, simple. Bright and cheerful in colour with a slightly smoky flavour from the lentils, it’s a comforting ‘hug in a bowl’ for difficult days.
The pumpkin is entirely optional and came about purely because I can’t bear waste – I filled our freezer with one-cup portions full of the roasted squash after last hallowe’en’s jack-o’-lantern. If you aren’t quite as ridiculous and don’t have a metric ton of pumpkin threatening to explode from your icebox every time you open it, you could swap for another root vegetable or leave out entirely.
All the prep can be done in advance and the blended soup freezes just fine – it’s been a boon for low-spoon times when I just haven’t had the wherewithal to put dinner on the table otherwise.
We tend to serve it with a chunk of whatever bread is available and a liberal sprinkling of pepper and nooch, but you could easily pair with whatever accompaniments cheer you up the most.
What are your favourite (minimal-effort) sides?
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 large brown onion peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 large parsnips peeled and chopped
- 1 baking potato peeled and chopped
- 1 cup roast pumpkin optional
- 1/4 cup dried red lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- black pepper to taste
- nutritional yeast to taste
Heat the oil in your largest saucepan and cook the onion, garlic and celery on a medium heat for around 5 minutes - until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
Tumble in the carrots, parsnips and potato (plus the pumpkin if using) and cover with the hot vegetable stock. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil.
Toss the lentils and herbs into the mix and keep at a simmer for 25-30 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft and the lentils have broken down.
Cool a little and then blend until smooth (you may have to do this in batches). Reheat when ready to eat, serving with chunky bread and an optional garnish of black pepper and nutritional yeast.