This recipe is adapted from the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook (which is amazing, by the way).
This is one of my favourite dishes to make at this time of year. As I watch raindrops carve rivulets across the window, I am in need of a hug, and that's exactly what this soup is, comforting, warming and most importantly, delicious. In addition, this is pretty much the only way I can ensure my picky toddlers eats any veg other than baked beans and tomato sauce.
This is a perfect dish to make at the end of the week when your cupboards are full of vegetables in need of urgent consumption. And I mean it when I say you can put any veg in to the pot. I've yet to discover a less-than-winning combination.
2 tbsp walnut oil
Veg - this particular batch was comprised of:
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
Handful of kale, shredded
1 courgette, chopped
2 red cabbage leaves, shredded
Handful of cherry tomatoes
1 garlic clove, sliced
75g Red lentils
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you're feeling brave)
About 500ml Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste (I don't add salt to any dish)
Warm the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add all of the veg, bar the tomatoes, and allow to sweat until the onions and carrots have softened. Stir once or twice to avoid sticking.
Add the tomatoes, lentils, spices and stock, topping up with water if necessary (the broth should just cover the veg). When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat and cover, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Whizz the soup with a hand blender and add seasoning if you wish.