Brrrr, its still a bit cold outside (I thought that the miserable weather would leave with the end of January). After a particularly wet and windy school run recently I decided to see what I could cook up for lunch to warm myself back up. I love soup and one of the greatest things about it for me is that it is so easy to make, especially if you want to use up a load of veg from the bottom of the fridge. Can you believe I used to buy cartons of soup? They are such a waste of money when you consider that for much less you can make a gigantic pan of fresh soup which tastes so much better. It is the perfect rainy day food too.
I had a bag of carrots in the bottom of my fridge so googled soup recipes and as usual didn't have all the ingredients for the recipe that had taken my fancy, so I changed it. Original inspiration came from BBC Good Food's Carrot and Lentil soup (although my mother gave me a hand written copy passed off as her own - rumbled! Google is my friend too mother!) but here's my version.
A pinch of chilli flakes
A couple of teaspoons of cumin seeds
5 large Carrots peeled and chopped
140g Red Lentils
1 litre Chicken Stock (made using a cube is fine)
In a large pan fry the spices off in the oil until the fragrances are released. Add the chopped carrots and the lentils and coat in the oil and spices.
Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Take pan off the heat and then using a stick blender, blend until smooth.
Return pan to the heat and add some extra water or stock to the soup to thin it and give it a good stir. Season to taste.
Serve with a bit of chilli oil drizzled over the top
This made at least two huge bowls with a bit to spare but could make more depending on how thick you like your soup. I was so hungry that I ate the lot, then waddled to the school gate for pick up at 3.30 pm (oops!). It really is very filling!