We just had one of those midweek days when you have some bits of vegetables that are less than fresh and there’s not quite enough to use each on their own. When this happens, we don’t discard them, we make soup. In this instance, the weather had gone from scorching hot to wet, windy and distinctly chilly, so soup would be very welcome.
We never know how it’s going to turn out beforehand, we just cross our fingers and hope for the best! This is one of those experiments. The spring greens were beginning to turn yellow at the edges, there was about 2″ of white cabbage – mostly stalk – 3 pods of broad beans, 3 spring onions and half a small head of broccoli, the middle of a bunch of celery that was mostly leaves – but there were plenty of carrots! In the pan they all went, with some stock and some lovely fresh basil from the plant my husband had just brought home from the bargain section of the supermarket.
This is a mineral-rich meal, with protein, fibre and healthy carbohydrates.
Basil is rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, promotes good cardiovascular health and contains Vitamins A, C, K, iron, manganese, copper and healthy omega oils.
Apologies for no photos of the prep or cooking, I didn’t think it was going to be a blogable meal! However, it turned out well and there was enough for me to have a serving and freeze two others.
Organic, vegan, gluten-free. All measurements very approximate.
1 Tsp Coconut Oil
3 Medium Carrots, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped
1 Small Beetroot, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped
3 Spring Onions, washed and chopped, including green part
A few Sprigs of Broccoli and stalk, washed and chopped
Small piece of Celery Stalk and a good few Leaves, washed and chopped
Cabbage/Spring Greens, washed and chopped
3 Pods of Broad Beans
Handful of Fresh Basil
1/3 Cup Puy Lentils, rinsed and soaked while the veg are prepared and sweated, to make them more easily digested. Discard the soaking water before adding them to the soup.
Approx. 600-700mls Vegetable Stock (enough to amply cover the vegetables)
Good Squeeze of Tomato Purée
A Little Tamari
Black Pepper, Pink Himalayan Salt.
In a large saucepan, melt the coconut oil. When hot but not smoking, add all the vegetables, stirring thoroughly as you add them. Add some black pepper. Put on the lid and allow to sweat on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make up the stock if using a stock cube. Add to the pan with the lentils, tomato purée, tamari and basil. Add more black pepper if liked. Gently bring to a simmer, replace the lid and cook for about 45-50 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
Adjust the seasoning.
Remove fom the heat and cool enough to blend a little with a stick blender, just enough to thicken a bit but leave much of the soup chunky.
Serve in hot bowls with extra fresh basil. I had it with some homemade gluten-free bread with peanut butter! (See Vegan Gluten-Free Tiger Nut Bread Mark ll and Vegan Gluten-Free Tiger Nut Loaf/Bread Mk III and watch out for Mark IV coming soon!
(There’s a clip from The Marx Brothers’ ‘Duck Soup’ at the end of this post for your entertainment, enjoy).
Copyright: Chris McGowan