Soul Glow Soup

This is by far the orangest soup I’ve ever made. It’s almost luminous. Well, it’s hardly surprising, with almost every ingredient being a sunny orange colour and then there’s a dash of turmeric to really make this glooooow.

This actually started out as a simple lentil soup, but when I opened the veg drawer to grab a leek I was completely side tracked by all the orange veg in there. That poor old leek is still in the fridge patiently waiting his turn 2 days later. Don’t worry Leeky I haven’t forgotten about you.

Anyway, this is utterly delicious, crazily good for you and ridiculously easy. You just throw all of those wholesome delights into a pan, simmer for a bit and blend.

Sure this soup looks tantalising and vibrant but when you taste it you’ll really feel your soul glow.

Soul Glow Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 carrots, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 120g red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 litre of stock (you may need more if you prefer a thinner soup)

Method

  • Put all of your ingredients into a large pan, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, pop a lid on and let everything bubble away gently for about 20 minutes.
  • Keep an eye on it and add more liquid if you think it needs it.
  • Once the veg and lentils are nice and tender just blend until silky smooth and vibrantly orange.

Heart Warming Lentil Soup with Filini Pasta

As my lovely mom would say with a smirk “the nights are fair drawing in”. Well this is the perfect bowl of warming, wholesome soul filling food we could all do with at this time of year.

This soup wins gold medals in so many categories: wholesome, nutritious, warming, moreish, satisfying, simple to make and blooming delicious.

When I was in the supermarket I came across pasta called Filini from a brand called Lubella and this became the inspiration for this soup. I discovered that ‘filini’ means little threads. To my mind it resembles short pieces if vermicelli.

I’ve no idea if this is a readily available pasta, which is why I’ve suggested broken up vermicelli as an alternative for this recipe. By the same token, I have noticed over recent months that smaller local shops rarely stock vermicelli and if that’s the case for you just use noodles. The key thing here is to have some soulful, tender carbs in among this soupy beaut.

A small aside to anyone feeding younger children, huddle in now this is our little secret: if I add noodles or pasta to any soup it’s an instant hit with kids. That means they eat their veg without complaint. Sneaky.

Slice up plenty of fresh crusty bread and you’re onto a winner of a dinner.

Heart Warming Lentil Soup with Filini

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 200g mung dal lentils or red lentils
  • 2 litres of hot stock (veg, chicken or beef would all work)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 100g Cavolo Nero or kale, tough middle rib removed and chopped into fairly small bits
  • 100g filini (or vermicelli, broken into smaller pieces about 4cm long)
  • A small bunch of fresh coriander
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • In a large pan melt the butter over a medium heat. Fry the onions for about 8 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden.
  • Stir in the garlic and turmeric and cook for a further minute or so.
  • Now tip in the lentils and pour over the stock.
  • Once the stock is simmering away nicely pop a lid on your pan and just let everything bubble gently for 10 minutes.
  • At this point you can tip in the chickpeas, cavolo nero and broken up vermicelli, stir and then simmer for another 10 minutes or until the lentils and vermicelli are tender.
  • Turn out the heat and just before serving add the chopped coriander. Check the seasoning and add a little salt if you think it needs it. I’d recommend a lovely big grinding of black pepper.
  • Serve generously in your favourite bowls and feel your heart, tummy and soul light up with gratitude.

Kind of Ramen Noodles

Soul food, that’s what this is. This is for those days when your body craves a healthy veg filled bowl of goodness but you still want a smack of flavour and a full tummy.

The important thing for me about comfort food or soul food is that I usually want to eat it when I’m a little lower on energy and I’m definitely not in the mood to stand for ages at the stove.

This soul bowl ticks all the boxes.  There’s no need for over exuberant chopping, no frying, just huge flavours ready to spoon up in about 20 minutes.

As I say with most of my recipes you can use any veg you like (try mushrooms, grated carrot or beansprouts), whatever noodles are in your cupboard and you can definitely get creative with the flavours you add.  Go wild, your soul will thank you.

Kind of Ramen

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • A piece of ginger about 4cm, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • A small bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • 1.5 litres of stock
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce
  • 200g of peas or edamame beans
  • A couple of handfuls of green leafy veg such as spinach or kale, chopped
  • 4 nests of dried noodles
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • A packet of sushi seaweed (or any other seaweed you fancy), torn into spoonable sized pieces
  • A small packet of coriander, chopped (I use the stalks and the leaves)
  • A couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds

Method

  • Pop your ginger, garlic, onions, soy sauce, lime and stock into a large bowl. Bring to the boil.
  • Once boiling add the noodles and cook according to the packet instructions.
  • A couple of minutes before the noodles are ready, add the peas and seaweed. Simmer.
  • Once everything is perfectly cooked, use a slotted spoon to serve the noodles into 4 waiting bowls. Now ladle the broth over the top.
  • Finally, sprinkle over the chilli, coriander and sesame seeds.
  • You can add a splash more soy sauce or lime juice if you like.