Minestrone-ish Soup

I made this soup today for my family actually because I wanted to use up some ingredients and it turned out so well that everybody had seconds! So I thought I’d share it here, with you:

Serves 6+

You will need:

1 onion, chopped (I use frozen, chopped onion)

200g red lentils, rinsed

splash of vegetable oil

2 carrots, finely chopped (use a food processor with slice attachment to chop if you’re a spoonie like me, or buy frozen chopped carrots)

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 tin reduced sugar baked beans

Generous handful of nutritional yeast

2 stock cubes

3 litres water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp garlic powder

30g spaghetti, broken into 1-2cm pieces

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the onion.
  2. Heat gently until onion is waxy.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
  4. Bring to the boil and bubble vigorously for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

 

TOP TIPS

Use a slow cooker to cook this soup. Heat the onions for half an hour and then add the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Get it going in the morning and by evening you will have a wonderful, tasty minestrone-type soup.

 

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Slow-Cooker Potato and Lentil Soup

What do you do if you have a spouse with toothache, a bag of potatoes and fresh coriander that needs to be used up?

Answer: You make soup.

What do you do if you think you won’t have much time or energy in the evening with which to make dinner?

Answer: microwave a ready-meal No, no! You use your slow cooker.

A thick soup like this warms you up on the coldest of winter days, and is also good as a light-but-filling summer dinner. With the potatoes for carbohydrate, lentils for protein and virtually zero fat it is good for those of us who need to watch our weight too. Time to prepare: about 10 minutes max.

 

You will need:

1kg potatoes, washed and chopped into chunks £1.90/2.5kg

1 onion, chopped 17p/each

150g red lentils £2/2kg

1 tablespoon fresh coriander 80p/31g

2 vegetable stock cubes 15p/100g

Approx. 2l water

black pepper

Total 30p per serving

 

1. After chopping the onion and potato, place into the bottom of the slow cooker.

2. Add the lentils, coriander, stock cubes and enough water to cover – there should be a gap of about 5cm between the top of the potatoes and the water line.

3. Sprinkle on black pepper, to taste.

4. Put slow cooker on high and cook for 3-4 hours, or on low and cook for 7-8 hours. Stir occasionally.

5. Using a hand-held blender, whizz to a creamy, thick soup.

6. Serve steaming hot with crusty bread.

TOP TIPS

This can also be made on the hob if you soften the onions first; just remember to boil the lentils vigorously for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Grated smoked soya cheese sprinkled over the top makes this even more delicious.

You can also sprinkle with some fresh coriander, if this is to your taste.