During the cold months I love to make soups from scratch. While there are many wonderful recipes out there, some of the most useful are those you can make using goods from the pantry. You can ensure that you always have the ingredients in stock so that when the mood for soup hits you, you don’t need to worry about whether you have all the ingredients.
One of my favorites is Spicy Lentil soup. Made with coconut milk it is rich and creamy, and the warm spices of cinnamon and cardamom are perfect flavours for a winter’s day. It whips up in about 30 minutes, and is very simple to make. Here is the recipe, from the book Soup: superb ways with a classic dish.
Spicy Lentil Soup
Place into your soup pot: 2 chopped onions, 2-3 cloves garlic, 2 – 4 chopped tomatoes (if I don’t have fresh ones around I used diced ones from a can, drained of their juices; works just fine), 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 cinnamon stick, 6 cardamom pods, 1 1/3 cup red lentils, 3 3/4 cups water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.
Put in a blender (or use a hand blender right in the pot, as I do; less to wash up) to mix it up to a smooth consistency. The recipe says to strain it but I don’t know why and never do. Add a 14-oz can of coconut milk and 1 tbsp lime juice (I use RealLime, which stores in the fridge for ages). Salt and pepper to taste.
Serves well with homemade bread rolls, which is just what I’m having tonight after a day being snowed it. Perfect!