Since changing up my diet, reading cookery books and food blogs has become part of my daily routine. Some of my favourite blogs of the moment are The Full Helping, Oh My Veggies and Cookie and Kate. One of my favourite books which I've pulled many of my favourite recipes from is A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones.
A Modern Way to Eat is a vegetarian recipe book with many of the recipes naturally being vegan or can be easily adapted to being vegan friendly. If you are looking for an amazingly easy to make but really tasty dinner, I recommend trying Anna's Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet *drool*.
One of the first recipes that caught my eye was the Lemony Lentil Soup with Crispy Kale. Coming from a small town in Ayrshire, Scotland, I was raised on lentil soup. I'm sure most Scots will proclaim that either their mum or grannies lentil soup is the best...but honestly Alison Carr's lentil soup beats all others ;). I was interested to see how adding lemon to red lentil soup would work so eagerly tried it. I've shared the recipe from Anna's website below.
A splash of olive of rapeseed oil
1 leek washed, trimmed and finely sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
250g red split lentils
1 veg stock cube
4 handfuls of kale, washed, trimmed and shredded
Yoghurt stirred with a little sea salt
Get a large pan on the heat. Add a little oil and turn the heat to medium. Add the leek and fry for a couple of minutes until it has softened and smells sweet then add the spices and fry for another couple of minutes. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon and stir around to lift the spices from the bottom of the pan.
Next, add the lentils, 1.5 litres of water and the stock cube and allow to bubble away for 25-30 minutes until the lentils have cooked and the soup has thickened.
Turn of the heat and if you like, blitz the whole lot to a thin dhal consistency, then squeeze in the juice of the other two lemons, tasting as you go to make sure it doesn't get too lemony. It may seem like a lot, but you really want the lemony tang to come through.
Just before you're about to serve, saute the kale in a little olive oil until it slightly softens but begins to crisp at the edges.
Ladle into bowls and top with the salted yoghurt and crispy kale.
This soup is delicious. The lemon juice makes it taste fresh and light which is helped by blitzing the soup in a blender making it quite thin in consistency. As you can see in the photographs above, I haven't made the crispy kale. I make this soup to take to work for lunch and it's easier to just take the soup in a flask without bringing along a bag of crispy kale. However, if you're eating this at home...MAKE THE KALE. It's beautiful.
I have recently became addicted to Food Matters TV and love finding out more about what is in my food and what health benefits particular ingredients promote and this soup is packed with health promoting ingredients:
Turmeric - I've been introducing more and more turmeric into my diet. It has a high amount of beautiful anti-inflammatory properties and has a powerful antioxidant effect along with a whole host of other health benefits (google it, you'll be amazed). Basically, include more turmeric in your diet.
Red Lentils - I love lentils and probably eat them in some form every day. Red lentils are low in calories but high in nutrition. They are a good source of protein and iron, help lower cholesterol, promote heart and digestive health and are an excellent source of slow-releasing energy.
Kale - It's the most nutrient dense food on the planet! Kale is full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C + K, magnesium, calcium, beta-carotene and antioxidants.
If you're looking for a new soup to try for lunch, I highly recommend trying this! I would love to know what some of your favourite lunch ideas are - I always struggle to think of creative lunches!