Katie Bishop is back with another recipe to make your mouth water.
I’m so grateful to her for doing this – I really hope you enjoy it!
This colourful, hearty soup is packed with flavour. It’s also made in a slow cooker – so it’s really easy and faff-free.
Lentils and plenty of veg make this a nutritious, balanced bowl of goodness – perfect as a warming lunch or meal, and an excellent option during the menopause. I like to use rapeseed oil as it is rich in omega-3 fats – but use olive oil if you prefer.
You can also make this soup with either chicken or vegetable stock; and I like to serve the soup with a grating of Parmesan on top too, just to add a little calcium as this is so very important during menopause. If you’re vegetarian, use a suitable hard Italian-style cheese instead and keep the stock veggie.
Don’t have a slow cooker?
Simply sauté the garlic and vegetables together until softened, then add the herbs, tomatoes, and rinsed lentils, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, before simmering very gently until completely tender. Add the spinach right at the end.
Fab for the freezer:
Leave the soup to cool completely before transferring to freezer proof containers, then covering and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating gently on the hob until piping hot throughout (never reheat things in a slow cooker).
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook: 3-4 hours (in a slow cooker)
75g brown or green lentils
Rapeseed oil, enough to cover the base of the slow cooker 1-2mm
1 clove garlic
1 red onion, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1 bay leaf, broken
2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
125g baby spinach leaves
Rapeseed oil or basil oil, to serve
Let’s get cooking …
- Rinse the lentils under plenty of cold water and drain thoroughly. Pour enough olive oil into the slow cooker to cover the base with a depth of about 1-2mm.
- Peel the garlic, then using your thumb, press the garlic firmly to bruise it. Add it to the dish with the oil.
- Add the lentils and mix to coat in the oil. Stir in the onion, celery, tomatoes, and herbs. Don’t season the soup at this stage, as salt could toughen the lentils.
- Pour in the stock. Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the lentils are tender.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the garlic and herbs. Mix the spinach into the soup and stir until the leaves are just wilted. Season to taste.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive or basil oil before serving with crusty bread or toast.
Katie will be back next month with something else delicious to try.