Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Speedy and simple spicy soup

Speedy, healthy, spicy soup
For those of you who don't know, I've just returned from a research trip to wintry Moscow. It's such an intriguing place. Snow-covered streets give it the appearance of a fairytale wonderland, flanked with startling architecture and air that seems saturated with centuries of intense history. And luckily for me, the weather was unseasonably mild for this time of year (around about -7 degrees celcius, but still not nearly as bad as it could have been).
Yet frankly, whilst the trip was a success, I have to say I'm relieved to be back at home. The Moscow metro system is intimidating to say the least - as the third most used metro system in the world, it feels like rush hour even in the middle of the day. And if you're unlucky enough to catch yourself down there during the actual rush hour, it's a pretty horrific sardine-like experience of pushing and shoving, made all the more frightening when you're about to enter the third trimester of your pregnancy. Plus, despite the rather spectacular thermal vest and long johns I took with me, I still managed, perhaps predictably, to pick up a cold.

One of the nicer aspects of the Moscow metro

So, despite the general success of the trip, I was ready to come home, and more than ready for a bit of comfort food. However, after my trip to the midwife today, when my comment about suddenly feeling pretty darn hungry all the time was met with a snarky reply of "Well remember you're not actually eating for two you know", I ended up making a bit of a point with my super-healthy lunch. And you know what? It was bloody lovely, and was super simple to make, in around half an hour. Here's the recipe...
Speedy and simple spicy soup (vegan)
(serves 4)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small (1cm) cubes
1 cup of red split lentils, rinsed well
handful of mushrooms , roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
2 pints vegetable stock
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1. Fry the onion and chilli in a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a large saucepan until the onion is translucent.
2. Stir in the carrot, potato, mushrooms and lentils, fry for a minute or two and then add the stock.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
4. Add in the tin of tomatoes, bring back to a simmer, and then serve whilst still hot.
This will make your tummy smile inside, will clear your sinuses like a dream and will leave you with an afterglow of satisfying smugness at its healthy, tasty goodness. Delicious!


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