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).

Jambalaya

jambalya

Jambalaya is a fairly quick one-pot Cajun rice dish. This version is based on a recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Enough for 3:

  • Chicken thighs (boned and cut into smallish chunks
  • 40g cooking chorizo (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (sliced 1cm thick)
  • 1 green pepper (cored, deseeded and cut into rough 2cm chunks)
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed/finely chopped)
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • A dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 90g brown rice
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 courgette (cut into chunks), so other equivalent green vegetable(s)
  • 40g peeled uncooked king prawns (defrosted)
  • 2 spring onions (sliced)
  • Lemon juice & black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Fry the chicken over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Add the chorizo and stir-fry for another minute. Remove the chicken and chorizo from the pan.

Stir in the onion, celery and green pepper, and cook very gently for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, skin the tomatoes, cut into quarters and remove the seeds (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve, and reserve together with any other accumulated tomato liquid on the chopping board). Roughly chop the tomatoes flesh.

Stir the garlic, paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf into the onion, celery and green pepper mixture. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the reserved liquid and cook over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened.

Return the chicken and chorizo to the pan, stir in the rice, and cook gently for 1 minute. Pour over the stock and cook for about 20 minutes (stir occasionally, and if the rice is drying out add more water or stock) until the rice is just cooked.

Stir in the prawns and spring onions and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the prawns are cooked. Serve.

Caponata

CaponataTileEnough for 3:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1  aubergine (chopped into largish chunks)
  • 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 2 celery sticks (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 a large red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp capers (rinsed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 750g ripe tomatoes (cored, deseeded and sliced (save the liquid from the tomatoes by rubbing the seeds though a sieve))
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • A handful of basil leaves

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large heavy pan. Fry the aubergine chunks in hot oil until they begin to colour. Turn down the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the onion, celery, pepper, capers, garlic and raisins, and cook gently until the mixture is soft.

Spread the mixture over a large baking tray and scatter the tomatoes over the top. Mix together the tomato liquid, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar and sugar, and pour this mixture over the vegetables.

Cook in the oven at 140C (Gas mark 1) for about a hour or until the tomatoes begin to fall apart (I cooked mine (in the top of the oven) with slow roasted lamb, increasing the oven temperature to 140C for the final hour). mix in the basil leaves before serving.

Tomato and celery soup

Tomato&Celery_Soup

I had some chicken stock which I’d made after boning and skinning some chicken thighs, and the end of a head of celery, so I made this soup. Enough for 3:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • About 1/3rd of a head celery (washed and sliced)
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 750ml chicken stock (the real thing, or a cube etc)
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • Lemon juice and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the celery and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and the chicken stock. 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.