Carrot, ginger and red lentil soup

Bert is regularly in character (and full fancy dress) as a fireman, astronaut or builder. He’s been known to be a cowboy, a dinosaur, a policeman and a pirate. Peepo, despite popping to Sainsbury’s and then driving back to his own house, occasionally visits, and we have a number of invisible lions and dinosaurs that live with us, as well as Peepo’s creepy mate, the flying monkey.

Next to Bert I feel positively unimaginative, but one thing I am good at inventing is soup.

This is normally another us-not-Bert one, though Bert will have a go at almost any soup if it’s topped with croutons (toss cubes of bread – the staler the better – in olive oil, sea salt and dry rosemary, bake at 200/ gas mark 6 for about 10 minutes, till golden).

Serves 2-3

25g butter

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and whole

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

2cm fresh ginger, grated (I portion it up and freeze it, grating it frozen)

3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped

Large handful red lentils

1 chicken stock cube

Boiling water

Dollop creme fraiche to serve

Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion, garlic and spices. When the onion’s transparent, tip in the carrots, sweating gently for a couple of minutes, then add the ginger, seasoning, lentils, stock and enough boiling water to entirely cover the veg. Bring to a rapid boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Puree and check seasoning then serve with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.

 

Advertisement

Spicy lentil soup

IMG_4897

This is more a daddy-soup than a Bertie-soup. Bert would eat it though, with the smaller amount of chili.

Serves two cold, greedy people

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1 red pepper, diced

Splash olive oil

1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

100g red lentils

1 tin chopped tomatoes and the tin full of tap water

Salt to taste

Fry the veg and spices in the olive oil, then stir through the lentils, tomatoes, water and seasoning. Simmer for 20 minutes then roughly puree. Eat with buttered bread and slabs of cheese.