Over the past three weeks there has been a rather terrifying drop in temperature here in Amsterdam. The summer was incredible and surprisingly long, but I noted with trepidation, that people seemed to be very Game of Thronesy about the summer ending; the second the sun went behind a cloud everyone would start proclaiming that summer was over and ‘winter is coming’. I found this mostly amusing at the time but now I am getting increasingly nervous to experience my first European winter.
Luckily, I have one of the all-time-best-most-deliciousest soup recipes to warm me up during the cold months and today – as usual when I make this soup – I have made a double batch to freeze. During winter I will often have tubs of 2 or 3 different nutritious soups filling the freezer and take one to work each day for lunch. It is also super handy to be able to pull some out of your freezer on those nights when you cannot be arsed cooking but want something tasty, wholesome and satisfying.
Make this soup, you won’t regret it!
Things that go in:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 and a half teaspoons cumin seeds
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 large carrots, grated
6 cups of vegetable stock
sea salt to taste (depending on your stock you may not need to add salt)
Things that go on:
70 g coriander leaves and stems, chopped
60 g cashew nuts, lightly toasted
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 long green chilli, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon white miso* (add more if needed)
Things that you do:
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until fragrant then grind with a pestle and mortar.
Put oil in a large pot over a medium heat, once hot, add the onion, garlic and cumin and saute for around 10 minutes, stirring often. The mixture should be golden brown and soft – you get a lot of flavour from this long slow cook so don’t cut it short – turn the heat down slightly if it starts to char.
Add the stock, lentils and carrot, and bring to the boil before turning the heat down to a simmer.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until the lentils have collapsed.
Use a stick blender to blend to the consistency you like. I prefer it blended very lightly, leaving much of the carrot and lentils whole.
To make the pesto, put all items in a small food processor and blitz, taste and adjust the miso and oil until you have a flavour and consistency that you like.
Serve the soup hot with a generous dollop of the pesto and extra on the side. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze to defrost when needed.
*10 g of grated parmesan and a pinch or two of sea salt can be used for a non-dairy free option if you can’t source the miso paste.