Green Lentil and Coriander Soup

A new year, a new healthy diet.   That’s the plan for most of the time anyway.  Apart from that I have made no new year food plans and have written no review of the past year.   I would like to blog more frequently and I would like to be more active in commenting on the blogs I follow, but if I set that as a resolution, I feel I would just be setting myself up for failure.  After all, I am running the London Marathon on 21 April so will need to find time to fit all the training for that into my schedule!   So, I am just going to try to keep on blogging as often as I can, when I can.    I know it’s quite late to be saying this on 8th January already so that is all I am going to say on the subject.  Moving on to this green lentil and coriander soup….

I love making soups like this as they are warm, filling and are useful for using up any leftover vegetables.  Although the lentils are very dark,  I love the colours of all the vegetables showing up in the soup and I especially love the fresh coriander stirred in at the end.  It makes the soup taste very fresh.

I am linking this soup to Pantry Party, Food of the Month Club and Souper Sundays.

lentil coriander soup (500x351)

Ingredients – serves 2 (as a main meal)

3 tbsp dried green lentils

2 carrots, sliced

1 onion, diced

2 tbsp chopped red cabbage

2 tbsp sweetcorn

Small knob of ginger, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, sliced

Handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

2 cardamom pods, crushed slightly

2 cloves

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp garam masala

How to Make Lentil and Coriander Soup

1. Put a little oil in a saucepan.   Add the cloves and cardamom pods.   Cook for 30 seconds then add the chopped onion, chilli pepper and ginger.  Fry gently until soft.

2. Add the turmeric,cumin, garam masala, carrot and lentils.   Stir in and add boiling water from the kettle.

3. Simmer for 30 minutes then add the cabbage.   Continue to simmer for another 20 minutes.

4. Add the frozen sweetcorn.   As soon as the water reaches the boil again, take out two ladles of the soup.   Blend in a food processor or with a stick blender and then return the pureed soup to the pan.   Stir in the coriander and serve immediately

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Tahini Soup

Well, it’s still soup weather out there and after my success with carrot and tahini soup,  I was eager to experiment more with tahini in soups.  The vegetables were basically what I had left in the fridge so could easily be changed for whatever you have.   It’s amazing that just a little bit of tahini makes the lentils taste really creamy.  I know it doesn’t look that pretty or appetizing in the picture, but if you like lentils and tahini then I’m sure you would love this.   For a slight variation peanut butter would work really well too.

I’m linking this to Souper Sundays hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

Ingredients – serves 1

1 tbsp red lentils, rinsed

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 tbsp tahini

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 chilli pepper, thinly sliced

1 tsp curry powder

How to make Sweet Potato, Lentil and Tahini Soup

1. Put a little oil in a sauce pan and fry the onion until soft.

2. Add the green pepper, chilli, garlic and curry powder.   Stir and cook for a minute and then add the lentils and sweet potato.   Cover with water, bring to the boil and then lower to a simmer.   Cover the pan and leave for 20 minutes.

3. Check the lentils and sweet potato are cooked.   Leave for a bit longer if necessary.   Stir in the tahini until it dissolves and then serve.

Lentil Salad

Over this month I’ve actually eaten a few lentil salads.   I’ve been trying to make myself healthy packed lunches to take to work so that I get enough fruit and vegetables.   I usually just take sandwiches in but making something like this feels so much healthier.   As my husband is not keen on lentils, it is also a perfect opportunity for me to eat things that he doesn’t really like, and so means I’m less likely to serve him up a lentil dish in the evening.

I’m sending this to Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes for August’s No Croutons Required which has the theme of lentils.

Ingredients – Serves 1

3 tbsp cooked green lentils

3cm piece cucumber, chopped into large cubes

1 large tomato, diced

1/2 yellow, orange or red pepper, diced

1/4 aubergine, diced

A few olives

1 tbsp capers

Black pepper

Lemon juice

Olive oil

How to Make Lentil Salad

1. Put the aubergine in a small saucepan and cover with a little water.   Simmer until soft and the water has evaporated.

2. Mix together all the vegetables.   Rinse the vinegar off the capers.  If the olives are in vinegar, rinse them too.   If they’re in oil add them directly to the salad.

2. Add lots of black pepper,  lemon juice and olive oil.    Mix well, taste and alter the seasonings if necessary.

Red Lentil Soup

I made this soup about a week ago when I’d had a lingering cold for some time and it really needed some nutritional help.  Some garlic, ginger, chillies, spices.    Maybe I just hadn’t eaten enough of these ingredients.    Just a little bit more and I would be cured.   Do you think like this too when you have a cold?

Anyway, I’d also seen on the Food Blog Diary that the theme for April’s No Croutons Required event, held by Tinned Tomatoes was to cook a soup or salad in a theme that had previously been used in that blogger’s birthday month.   Previous themes for March had been spicy soup, Indian soup or salad or chickpea soup or salad.   After looking through the other months, I concluded that I was lucky to have been born in March as the possibilities for what I could make were endless.   I could even have combined all of them.   Well, In the end I decided to combine the first two only.   After all, I had had chickpeas just the day before I made this!

Anyway, the soup turned out well.   It definitely soothed my throat.   It looks a bit grey in the picture but I can promise you it tasted much better than it looks.

The soup also gave me the opportunity to use some of the paprika and cumin from Healthy Supplies.

Ingredients – Serves 1

30g red lentils

1 mild red chilli, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 small piece of fresh ginger, finely diced

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground cumin

Pinch of paprika

1/4 tsp cinnamon

About 10 curry leaves

1 tsp dried coriander leaf (If I’d had fresh I would have added it near the end instead)

How to make Red Lentil Soup

1. Wash the lentils.

2. Heat a little groundnut oil in a small saucepan.   Add the ginger, garlic and chilli.

3. Fry for a moment then add the lentils and ground spices.   Stir for a minute then add the curry leaves and coriander leaf, cover with water and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Red Lentil Dal

This recipe is inspired by a Sri Lankan colleague I used to work with.  She did give me the recipe on a piece of paper and when I first made it (about 2 years ago), I followed the recipe exactly.  Now I’m working somewhere else and I’ve lost that piece of paper and unfortunately also lost touch with my old colleague, so I’ve just had to remember this as best I can.  It may not be exactly the same but it was still delicious.

I am sending this as my October entry for My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Divya of Dil Se.

Ingredients – serves 2

100g red lentils

1 onion, diced finely

1 clove of garlic, crushed

Knob of ginger, finely chopped

1-2 green chillies, finely sliced

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

A few curry leaves

How to make Red Lentil Dal

1. Fry the onion until soft then add the ginger and garlic.

2. Add the spices and stir well.  Cook for another 2 minutes.

3. Rinse the lentils well then add to the pot.  Cover with water and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add extra water if it goes to dry.

4. Serve with rice or naan bread.