Year of Happy: I Need Some Hot Stuff Tonight: The Simplicity of A Bowl of Homemade Soup

Hello friend,

We’ve made it through the shortest of days but the cold weather brings bouts of flu, chesty coughs and general feeling of misery. Sure, building a snowman and snowball fights can bring some cheeriness, but when the cold starts to get through to your bones, there’s nothing quite like snuggling up in the warmth, with maybe a fire crackling near by, and a bowl of homemade soup.

Soup has to be the ultimate comfort food on a cold day (okay so stew might be up there too). So today I’m breaking from my normal posts and sharing one of my favourite recipes. You’ll only need a measuring jug as most of it is approximate and can be varied. Plus no-one likes weighing stuff.

Red Lentil Soup

Makes enough for three to four depending on appetite.

Ingredients:

1 diced white onion (optional)

12floz / 250g of red lentils

1 tin chopped tomatoes

3 stock cubes (we use Oxo, 2 chicken 1 beef)

Minimum 20floz cold water

1 cooked chicken breast, diced (optional)

Black pepper

Ground Nutmeg

Instructions

1. Fry or sauté the onion until soft. Sunflower or vegetable oil is best but we often dry fry.

2. Add chopped tomatoes and mash a little with a cooking spoon or ladle.

3. Add lentils and use your empty tomato tin to add some cold water.

4. Allow water to start bubbling and then crumble in the stock cubes.

5. Add more water as required. You don’t want the lentils to stick but after that add as much as you want to get a thick or thin soup.

6. Add ground nutmeg. Start with about a quarter of a teaspoon, or a light sprinkling across the surface of the soup. Adjust according to your own taste. Repeat with black pepper.

7. Add chicken and simmer at a low to medium heat until the lentils are cooked through. Add additional water as necessary.

8. Serve with crusty bread rolls.

That’s it, pretty easy to do and takes overall about 40 minutes but can be left to simmer if you need to prep for tomorrow or feed the kids.

We don’t very often add onion and it tastes just fine without, but if you’re not adding either chicken or onion then bear in mind that it won’t be as chunky. I’ve not tried this recipe with vegetable stock cubes so it might change the flavour a little therefore adjust how many you use if choosing a vegetarian option.

You can easily flex this recipe for bigger portions by adding more chicken, onion or lentils, or add more water if unexpected guests arrive.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. What’s your favourite soup? Perhaps you have a go-to winter comfort food. Let us know in the comments.

Until next time, keep warm

Earworm: Hot Stuff, Donna Summer


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