Lest you think my life is a never-ending parade of dinner parties, restaurant dinners, baking cakes and glamorous travel, (hah!) let me assure you that I do occasionally stay in and eat healthy food.
Bill Granger's Puy Lentil Soup (Sydney Food)
Case in point: I've really gotten into making vegetable soups lately. It's just right for the colder weather, and for me, is a comforting vehicle for heaps of nutrient-filled veggies which would otherwise be ingested, tediously, in salads. I seem to be rotating 3 different soup recipes at the moment, which are all quite similar and tomato-based. I like to make my soups purely vegetarian, (not a meat stock or ham hock in sight!), usually to balance out the carnivorous excesses of the night before.
First, my all-time-favourite, Greg Malouf's chermoula and chickpea soup. (I don't have a photo of that one, but don't worry, all these soups look pretty much the same.) I started making it last year, when I bought a jar of his chermoula, and got a free recipe card with it. I have been making it ever since. It's quite easy; just cook some onions, garlic and green chilli with a spoonful of chermoula, before adding stock, chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes and some herbs and spices. I can't tell you how blown away I was by this soup. He has a similar recipe on his website, with preserved limes in place of the chermoula. (That recipe is here. Enjoy!)
Next up is a padded-out version of Nigella's 'minestrone in minutes', from Nigella Express. Her superexpress version contains a jar of tomato-based pasta sauce, some stock, a tin of beans, and some short pasta, all simmered together. I expanded on this idea by sweating some onions, carrots and herbs first, then adding her ingredients, plus a tin of lentils. It tasted like an idealised version of tinned minestrone. Yum.
Finally, Bill Granger's puy lentil soup. I was scouring his books for healthy recipes when I came across this soup. It requires a LOT of tedious chopping (onions, carrots, celery, leek, parsley, fresh oregano...), but I found it to be a good way to while away a cold and windy afternoon. Just me, the vegetables, my chopping board, and my kickass sharp-as-all-hell santoku knife from Japan.
As with the other soups, you add tomatoes, stock and the legumes (puy lentils in this case) to the sliced-and-diced vegies, and simmer for a good 30 minutes.
Deliciousness and health!