Thai style lentil soup

Thai_LentiL_Soup

I made this soup out of  the normal ‘base’ vegetables and what I had available. Hence no fresh coriander, which I would have added at the end, if I had had some. This quantity will feed 2-3 people:

  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 medium carrot (sliced)
  • 1 celery stick (sliced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (sliced/roughly chopped)
  • 1 large chilli (green or red: cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 2 pieces of dried lemongrass (chopped)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (crumbled)
  • 2 generous teaspoons of Thai curry paste (green or red)
  • 50g creamed coconut (the hard block sort, crumbled)
  • 200g good quality tinned of chopped tomatoes (ie 1/2 a tin)
  • 800 ml water
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder (or stock cube equivalent)
  • 120g red split lentils (washed under the cold tap in a sieve)
  • 1 bundle of fine rice noodles (c. 60g)
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lime

Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chilli, lemon grass and the kaffir lime leaves. Mix the ingredients well, turn down the heat and stir frequently over a lowish heat for about five minutes.

Add the curry paste, creamed coconut (crumble in), chopped tomatoes, water, stock powder and the lentils. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for about thirty minutes.

Blend the soup – in a liquidiser, food processor, or use a hand blender (my preference because it is so much easier to clean than a liquidiser or food processor) in the saucepan.

Break up the noodles and stir into the soup. Heat the soup until it just starts to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and grated zest. At this point the soup is very thick. You can add some cold water which will reduce the overall temperature so that it can be eaten immediately (if you are freezing it, the thick soup saves space).

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Green lentil stew

Lentil_Stew_Tile

I made a large batch of this, which provided:

  • 1 portion with added kale (cooked for 3 minutes in the stew);
  • 2 portions of pancakes (with 4 large pancakes, bechamel sauce, and grated parmesan; baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4);
  • 2 portions of ‘shepherds’ pie (with mashed potato); baked for about 25 minutes at 180C (Gas Mark 4).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 large carrot (chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 150g mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • A large pinch of dried oregano
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 120g green lentils
  • 400ml vegi-stock
  • Black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion, carrot, celery and red pepper, and cook gently for 10 minutes. Turn up the heat, and stir in the mushrooms and garlic, and stir-cook for two minutes.

Stir in the oregano, tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. Season with black pepper to taste.

If not all used immediately, allow to cool and store in the fridge (using within the next few days).

Fruit and vegetable smoothie

I don’t have a juicer, but I managed to make this ‘thick’ fruit/veg drink using a liquidiser. It’s reminiscent of one of the ‘fresh juices’ from Wagamama. Makes about a litre:Juice

  • 1 large carrot sliced
  • 2 oranges (with the pith removed)
  • 1 apple (peeled and cored)
  • 2cm (approx.) square piece fresh ginger (grated)
  • 250ml cold water

Put all the ingredients in a liquidiser, and blend until smooth. Serve.

Sausage and white bean stew

Sausage_Bean_Stew

This recipe is based on one in this month’s Waitrose Kitchen. Enough for two:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1 small red chilli (cored, deseeded and chopped)
  • 1 largish carrot (diced)
  • 3 spicy pork sausages (sliced (3cm thickness))
  • 350mls meat stock (about 1/3rd of a beef stock cube is fine)
  • 1/2 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 400g tin of cannellini beans (drained)
  • 100g cavolo nero (roughly chopped, with thick stalks removed)
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • Seasoning (black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice)

Heat the oil in a large pan. Stir in the onions and gently cook for 3 minutes. The stir in the garlic, chilli and the carrots, and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the sausage slices and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The add the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Then turn up the heat and stir in the cavolo nero, add more water (if necessary), and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the parsley and add seasoning to taste.

Serve.

Leek, potato and carrot soup

Potage_Flamande

I had some of the green ends of leeks so I made this soup which is based on an Elizabeth David recipe for Potage Flamande. Enough for 3:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 leeks (washed and sliced) – I used the equivalent in ‘green leek tops’
  • 1 carrot (sliced)
  • 1 large potato (peeled and sliced)
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1 heaped tsp vegi-stock
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • Lemon juice and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the leek slices and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the potato and carrot slices and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the boiling water, and stir in the stock powder. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for 25 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add the cream and blend using a hand blender. Reheat until just boiling. Remove from the heat and season with lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

Serve with croutons (see final paragraph sweet potato and red pepper soup).

Shepherds pie

Shepherds1-tile

I had some meat left over from slow roasted lamb, so I decided to make a shepherds pie. Enough for 3:

  • Cold lamb (chopped – the amount I used covered a standard sized saucer – see photo above)
  • 30g brown lentils (rinsed, cooked in water (should take about 20 minutes from boiling) and drained)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 stick of celery (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped/crushed)
  • 200g tinned chopped tomatoes (1/2 of a normal sized can)
  • A pinch of dried oregano
  • Black pepper
  • 1/3rd beef stock cube
  • Hot water
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 20g butter

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube, add the oregano and some black pepper, and mix well.  Top up with hot water, so the mixture doesn’t get too dry. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes and cook in a pan of water. When cooked, drain and return to the pan over a low heat to ‘dry out’. Mash with the butter and add black pepper to taste.

When the tomato and vegetable mixture is cooked, stir in the cold lamb. Pour into a shallow ovenproof dish, and gently place the mashed potato on top.

Cook in the oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) for 30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and the whole dish is piping hot. Serve.

Peanut rice luchbox

Chinese_rice_lunchbox

This used up some left-over brown rice.

Mixed the rice with spring onions, frozen peas and salted, roasted peanuts; and a dressing made from soy sauce, olive oil, a little hot chilli sauce, a little white wine vinegar and some grated ginger.

Also cherry tomatoes, beetroot, spring onions and carrot sticks.