Monday, 26 May 2014

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

This is one the most gorgeously tasty soups I have had in a long time. I found it in “Veganissimo!” by Leigh Drew, who happens to be Australian. (Yay!)  I would recommend doubling the ingredients because you WILL want seconds or leftovers for the next day.  I decided to not blend the soup at the end, as I like chunky soups. If you do this, I suggest finely grating the ginger instead of chopping.  I omitted the onion and garlic (still tasted great without them) and used water instead of oil for the sauté step. I also omitted the tomato paste, as I felt it didn’t need it but feel free to use if you like.

What you will need:
½ cup water
1 small carrot (finely chopped)
1 celery rub (finely chopped)
1 small onion – optional (finely chopped)
1 garlic clove – optional (minced)
1 piece ginger (approx. 2.5 cm), peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ cups dried red lentils
½ tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 can diced tomatoes
5 cups salt reduced vegetable stock (I use  Marigold vegan salt reduced )

Heat water in a large pot, over medium heat. Add carrot, onion (if using), celery, garlic (if using) and ginger for 15 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
Add the chili flakes, ground coriander seeds and ground cumin. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
Add red lentils and tomato paste (if using) and stir well to combine.
Pour in canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Reduce heart to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lentils should have broken down and be soft. If not, cook for longer.

The next step is optional. Remove pot from heat and use a stick blender to bend the mixture until it is smooth.  Serve.

Curried Mushroom and Chickpeas

I was reading the book “Foods that cause you to lose weight” by NealBarnard M.D and found this recipe in there. It is simple but packed with flavour. The original recipe calls for two tins of diced/crushed tomatoes, but I used only one, as I felt it was enough. Note that oil has been left out. This cuts down on fat and calories but does not affect the flavour.

You can serve this on rice or couscous.

What you will need:
½ cup water
Onion, chopped (optional)
½ tsp cumin
700g mushrooms, sliced
1 can diced/crushed tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp chili flakes


Heat water in a large pot and then add the onions, if using. Cook until soft and then add mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until mushrooms begin to soften and some of the water evaporates. Add tomatoes, chickpeas and spices. Cook on low heat for approximately 30 minutes.