It’s that time of year when salads just no longer seem to cut it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good salad, but at this time of year I crave warmer food – especially after chilly mornings and evenings taking Bootcamp. So, having done the warm chicken salad to death, soups start to become very popular in my household.
Soups are great lunch choice, whether you’re at home or work. They are quick and easy to make, very nutritious, perfect for batch cooking and freeze well.
You can make a load on a Sunday (it won’t take long) and then freeze a couple of portions and have the rest for some packed lunches – just so long as you have facilities to reheat it at your workplace.
Here are two of my favourites. Both are quite similar in terms of their base ingredients, but with a couple of key differences for a distinct change of flavour:
1) Carrot, coconut and coriander soup (makes about 3 portions)
This is a smooth, creamy soup with a bit of a kick!
1 small onion
1 clove garlic
Piece fresh ginger (or could use a pinch of ground ginger)
1 small sweet potato (my magic ingredient here…. a moment of inspiration)!
Yeast free stock (or use homemade stock if you have some)
A few chilli flakes (or could use fresh chilli)
Chop the onion, garlic and ginger and lightly fry off in a heavy duty saucepan (I use a Le Creuset casserole dish). Add in your sweet potato and carrot (diced), then the stock and chilli flakes and add enough boiling water to just cover the ingredients. Leave to simmer for about 20 mins, or until the carrots and sweet potato are soft. Turn the heat down to low, pour in about 1/4 can coconut milk, throw in the finely chopped coriander and then blitz! I used a hand blender but you could transfer all the ingredients into a food processer and mix in there. Season to taste (I add a good load of black pepper and teensy pinch of Maldon sea salt). Serve with a sprig of fresh coriander. Devour the goodness!
2) Red lentil and veggie soup
I have posted this one before, courtesy of Victoria, but it’s worth sharing again as it is so tasty. In fact, I just finished a bowl before sitting down to write this post! This is a bulkier soup than the previous one, really hearty and filling.
10oz veg – I find that carrots / parsnips / sweet red peppers work really well but you can make it with any veg that you have lying around. 10oz is roughly the equivalent of 4 medium carrots, or 2 large peppers.
1 tbspn coconut oil – this adds an amazing flavour. You can also use a glug of olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil
3-4oz red split lentils – I use 4oz for a thick soup
600ml organic veg stock
Pinch red chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic
2 tsps. cumin
1 tsp mixed herbs
Black pepper to taste
Put everything in a pan, bring to the boil then simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Blend together and enjoy!
For more soup recipes why not check out the Lovefit Cookbook? It’s not just soup, and there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly recipes too.