Veggie Places in Praha

Last November my Dad turned 50 and to celebrate, he and I went for a 3 day trip to his favourite city in the world, Prague. I had been once before with my Dad back in 2007 but at that point he had only been a couple of times, since then he has been on at least 10 more occasions, so I was excited to go again nearly a decade later, with my very own personal veggie tour guide.

We stayed in an apartment pretty central and spent most of our time in the touristy bits of Prague eating and drinking so hopefully if you’re planning a trip and are veggie or vegan these little reviews might come in handy…… Sorry for lack of photos, I’m rubbish!

The Globe

In short: Average American-style food with plenty of veggie and vegan options in a cool setting…. although not as cool as I remembered. 13022174_10156900015800094_1887224298_n

As far as I am aware The Globe Café and Bookshop was one of the first places my dad and step-mum discovered in Prague and visiting there was one of my favourite memories from the 2007 trip. It had felt so cool and artsy to me back then. The vibe is still pretty cool, walking through the English-language bookshop to the café at the back of the space there are definitely worse places to have lunch. The menu which is American-influenced features all the usual suspects. We went early afternoon on a Saturday and they had the Brunch menu running. I went for a Soy Cappuccino and we both had the Huevos Rancheros, it was good but not startling. Overall, I would recommend The Globe as a relaxed and safe veggie option if you’re in the area. The staff are friendly and the food is good but flyers advertising their Saturday night karaoke confirmed that they have definitely lost some cool points since my last visit.

Klub cestovatelů

In short: Delicious and authentic meze at a crazy-low price!

The first time we tried this restaurant we were turned away (it was getting petty late) but I was keen to return the following night to try again. I’m a massive fan of meze and my dad had been on his previous trip and said it was good. 13022461_10156900045490094_1696850789_n.jpgWe picked a selection of meze to share from the fairly standard Middle Eastern menu; Hummous, Baba Ganoush, Falafel, Tabbouleh, little cheese and spinach pastries and of course pitta breads. The food was amazing and as good as any Middle Eastern food I’ve had in the UK. The vibe is relaxed and in total, with a bottle of wine and a beer, our meal cost about £20.00 for the two of us!

Mamacoffee

In short: A cute vegetarian coffee shop with great coffee and cake and lots of vegan options 13020563_10156900051305094_1334864189_n.jpg

There are a few Mamacoffee shops dotted across Prague and one of them was just around the corner from our apartment so we popped in on the way into town one morning for a coffee and some cake.
Again, this modern little café had a really nice relaxed feel to it and the staff made us welcome straight away by explaining that we could choose a table and they would come over to take our order. I opted for a soy flat white and a piece of their stunning (looking and tasting) cinnamon flavoured cheesecake. 12966357_10156900051240094_114366910_n.jpgAlthough I went for a very non-vegan option there was were a couple of vegan cakes on offer too. From looking back at their website it also looks like they do a good choice of savoury dishes too with lots of vegan options so well worth bearing in mind!

Countrylife  

In short: Perfectly located, canteen-style vegan café and shop

Countrylife is a bit of an institution in Prague, slap-bang in the middle of all the action at the bottom of St Wenceslas Square its location is ideal for when you’re doing the touristy thing.  Less of a restaurant and more of a canteen; its self-service and you pay for your food by weight!  We went towards the end of the day which meant some of the options were running low but I didn’t mind this as it meant we missed the crowds. It’s the kind of place where you grab yourself a tray and a plate and slide along the runners past the various dishes, adding to your plate as you go, problem is if you don’t know what’s up ahead you might fill up your plate with the wrong stuff at the start and end up with massive food envy! (The trials and tribulations of a food-lover, ey!) Luckily, as it was quiet, I was able to do a quick run up and down the line to asses all of my options before loading my plate, with an admittedly random selection of foods (too many choices!!). I can’t really remember any of the specific elements of my meal but it compromised a selection of hot and cold bits all of which were tasty. Surprisingly this isn’t one of the cheaper places for a veggie to eat and the service is kind of grumpy but it’s still worth a visit. The shop is also a great place to stock up if you’re planning on doing a bit of self-catering. Worth noting it’s closed on Saturdays too.

Green Spirit

In short: Friendly bistro with modern veggie/vegan food, big portions and cheap

On our last day we went up Petrin Hill and popped into the handily placed vegetarian café , Green Spirit, at the bottom of the hill on the way back to the apartment. 12988069_10156900066415094_1777652073_n.jpgThis café is pretty small with only a few tables inside however from the photos on the website it looks like you can sit outside in the Summer. I was impressed by the menu, although not huge there was a good variety of options, a few Mexican dishes, some more Oriental-style mains as well as burgers and pasta too and around half of these were vegan. I went for the quesadilla, a soy cappuccino and because I just couldn’t resist once I’d seen it… a lavender lemonade!! 12969413_10156900066680094_1113133329_n.jpgThe mains were massive when they came, a big quesadilla with a mound of well cooked rice and all the essential sides, guacamole, salsa and jalapeños. My dad had a veggie chilli which came in a humongous deep-fried tortilla bowl. The lavender lemonade was also definitely worth a try, sweet and floral, but not too flowery. All together 2 mains, 2 hot drinks and 2 cold drinks came to £15.00!

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Lentil and Cauliflower Dahl

For over a year now I have been following the 5:2 diet and although I have the odd slack week here and there I’ve generally fully incorporated it into my life. It’s something I actually get enjoyment out of (maybe don’t ask me to confirm this at 4pm on a fasting day!!) and if the research is to be believed it’s something that my body benefits from in a number of ways.

On my 500 calorie days I have opted for the tactic of skipping both breakfast and dinner (the midday meal) and just having one 500 calorie meal towards the end of the day, once I have gotten in from work. I know this isn’t the best option for many people, but for me, whilst I am busy at work, I find it much easier to go out without food than when I am home in the evening.

One possible downside of the 5:2 diet that I have noticed is that, if you’re not organised, fasting days are not conducive to cooking and it is easy to fall into the trap of living on shop-bought pre-calorie- counted food. This can often be boring and potentially not very healthy but very rarely do I feel like taking the time to figure out how many calories are in 7g of curry powder! Thankfully I did make the effort a couple of weeks ago because now I have an easy, nutritious, cheap and tasty meal that comes in just under 500 calories for my fasting days.

Dahl has always been a favourite of mine, it’s the mac and cheese of Indian food; comforting and warming. This recipe is pretty simplistic, obviously I had to cut it back to the basics in order to keep the calories low but trust me it tastes great!

Lentil and Cauliflower Dahl

This makes enough for one portion

Total calorie count = 492 calories

Ingredients

5g coconut oil (39 calories)

100g white onion (40 calories)

3 cloves / 9g garlic (13 calories)

1 stock cube (24 calories)

100g cauliflower (25 calories) – you can swap the cauliflower for 100g of almost any veg just make sure it comes under or around 30 calories with a quick Google search

7g (about 2 tsp) curry powder (22 calories)

60g raw red lentils (162 calories)

To Serve

Wholemeal Pitta (167 calories) and Fresh Coriander if you’re feeling extravagant (negligible calories…no one got fat off a few coriander leaves!)

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Method

  1. Add the coconut oil to a medium sized pan and melt over a medium heat
  2. Chop your onion and finely slice your garlic and add to the pan to soften
  3. Cut the cauliflower into fairly small florets and make the stock up with boiling water according to the packet instructions
  4. Once the onions are soft and translucent add the spice mix and fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add the lentils and cauliflower and coat in the spices and fry for a further 1 minute
  6. Add all of your stock (it should be about 500mls) and return to a simmer
  7. Leave it to bubble away, stirring occasionally and topping it up with water if it looks too dry
  8. After about 15 or 20 minutes the lentils should have totally softened to the point where they are no longer distinguishable little circles and more of a smooth mush
  9. Serve in a bowl (it will be quite liquidy) with a toasted pitta and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

Vegan Pulled BBQ Jackfruit and Avocado Slaw Wraps

So I finally did it….. got hold of and cooked with Green Jackfruit! People who don’t spend their time scrolling through various vegetarian and vegan Facebook groups or Instagram pages may not be privy to this intriguing ingredient however it has long been used in sweet and savoury dishes all over the world from Bangladesh to Brazil. Recently, however, it has been making massive waves across the vegan world…..

The reason for the excitement is because, in its unripen state, the jackfruit provides a perfect vehicle for flavours and it’s texture is surprisingly similar to slow cooked meat….and in the current culinary hipster world, where Pulled Pork is on every other menu, it’s great to have a vegan alternative – especially as it’s a natural product which can be used in a variety of ways.

I first got to taste the virtues of Jackfruit from @thehungrygecko at Manchester International festival when it was used in a Sloppy Joe Rendang, the texture was like nothing I had had before (growing up a veggie) but it definitely looked meaty and the Asian flavours had been totally absorbed.

I decided to risk it and try it out for a Bring n Share lunch at work – tentatively I wrote my dish on the list of who’s bringing what…. ‘Vegan Pulled BBQ Jackfruit and Avocado Slaw Wraps’ – thankfully they went down great so here’s the recipe – adapted from http://minimalistbaker.com/bbq-jackfruit-sandwiches-with-avocado-slaw/ which apparently is loosely adapted from Blissful Basil – we’re spreading the jackfruit love!

Vegan Pulled BBQ Jackfruit and Avocado Slaw Wraps

Makes about 6 mini wraps

BBQ Jackfruit

3 big tins – young green jackfruit (This can be tricky to find, best bet are Asian Supermarkets or the internet)

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp chilli powder

1 bottle BBQ sauce (Great British Sauce @GBsauce do a tasty vegan one)

Avocado Slaw

½ white cabbage – finely shredded

2 or 3 carrots – grated

1 red onion – finely sliced

1 bunch of coriander

2 ripe avocados

1 lime, juiced

Salt + Pepper to taste

For Serving

Wraps – I used little ones because it was for a buffet but you could use any you wanted

Method

Rinse and drain the jackfruit and shake off as much water as you can. With each piece of jackfruit pull off the outside stringy bits of fruit into little bits and add to a12030743_10156121945660094_1801747640_n (2)large bowl. Keep the solid bits of core to one side and then chop into small pieces and add to the bowl with the rest.

Sprinkle on the sugar and spices (everything but the BBQ Sauce). I think you can let your culinary juices flow a bit here, if you like it spicy add more chilli etc. Stir to fully and evenly coat the jackfruit.20150825_121941

 

 

Heat a large pan over a medium heat and add a splash of oil.

Add the jackfruit to the pan and fry until any remaining water has evaporated and it is starting to catch on the bottom of the pan.

Add the BBQ sauce and add water to thin-down the sauce. Stir and re
duce heat to low- medium, cover and cook for about 20 – 30 minutes until has reduced to a sticky consistency, stirring occasionally.

To make the coleslaw; mash the avocado with the lime juice and some salt and pepper to taste and thin with a little water. Mix the 20150825_121936veg and coriander in a large bowl and coat with the avocado dressing.

To serve I just put some of the warm jackfruit in a wrap with a dollop of coleslaw and well….. wrapped!!

Veggie Burger Triumph! – at last..

After various busy weekends of moving house and seeing friends I got the chance on Monday to spend a bit of quality time in the kitchen again.

A colleague recently recommended The Really Hungry Burger recipe by Anna Jones.

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My experience of making veggie burgers is limited to a particularly frustrating lesson in school where instead of being given the chance to follow a veggie burger recipe I was forced to follow the same beef burger recipe as everyone else, just replacing minced beef for Quorn mince; needless to say this did not work and I imagine there were many ‘told you so’ glares at my teacher from my 14yearoldself.

In addition to this pointless food technology lesson I have never found veggie burgers very inspiring. I often prefer the meat substitute, ready-made Quorn or Soya burgers to the bean or vegetable based burgers in many recipes.

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Partly this is down to texture, I think it is important that a veggie burger doesn’t squish out of the side of your bun when you bite into it, and vegetable and bean burgers are often too mushy for my taste. I also find many veggie burgers too heavily spiced; the classic spicy bean burger is not what I want in between my white sesame seed bun, plastic cheese, mayo and iceberg lettuce. Obviously this is down to personal preference, and maybe I’m a bit of a heathen in this respect, but I want something ‘meaty’ – savoury and with some texture.

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As well as having a cool name The Really Hungry Burger appealed to me because ingredients-wise it seemed promising. Mushrooms, thyme, parsley, tahini and soy sauce – all earthy flavours and whilst some mushy beans are required to hold the mix together, the majority of the ‘filler’ is brown rice – great for texture.

I halved the recipe but otherwise followed it pretty much to the letter (I used breadcrumbs not oats).

I wasn’t disappointed, the burgers browned up really well in the oven and held together much better than other veggie burgers, the outside of them were toasty and had a nice chew. The flavour was great, however next time I would probably slightly reduce the lemon zest or possibly leave it out all together. It wasn’t an unpleasant flavour but again I would have preferred more of a deep earthly taste than the zestyness that the lemon provides.
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I served them on classic burger buns with vegan (violife) cheese, avocado, red onion and tomato with sweet potato chips on the side. It’s a recipe I would definitely recommend you try and I’m excited to get out the ones I have in the freezer for a quick tea one evening. Thanks Anna!

Find the recipe here and give it a go! http://annajones.co.uk/recipe/really-hungry-burger

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

Ok this is definitely me cheating a little but I promised a recipe a day for Meat Free Week and that’s kind of a tough task when you have a life.  So tonight’s recipe is super obvious and ridiculously easy but not everyone can cook, right? (I’m moving in with a dear friend next week who last night attempted to fry an egg in a griddle pan) and many of you, like me, lead busy lives. So this is what I made for tea tonight and I think it makes a great quick, satisfying meal for any time of day.

Creamy garlic mushrooms on toast (an ode to my soon to be flatmate, Becky)

Ingredients – can anyone else not spell ingredients?! I spell it ingrediants every time I write it!!

Butter/vegan margarine

Mushrooms (obviously) – whatever you have or want; wild, chestnut, field or standard button mushrooms all work, you kind of get what you pay

1 clove of garlic – finely chopped or crushed

Salt and Pepper

A slice of good quality bread – wholemeal or granary is nice for this

Single cream / Vegan alternative (I used Alpro soya)

Method

Melt the butter/marg in a pan over a low-medium heat

Roughly chop your mushrooms into bite-sized chunks (or keep whole if the very tiny ones)

Add the mushrooms and the garlic to the pan, season with salt and pepper and wait. You need to be patient because you want the mushrooms to cook slowly, this will draw out the moisture and intensify the flavourIMG_20150322_113242

After 10 minutes or so the liquid from the mushrooms should have seeped out and evaporated, the pan should be dry and the mushrooms should have shrunk

At this stage toast your bread

Pour a little cream over the mushrooms and turn the heat down. The cream should reduce into a thick sauce

Pour the creamy mushrooms over your toast and serve.

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

So I’ve noticed a lot of what I cook is Mexican inspired but I think the flavours are so delicious and there is such a variety of accessible dishes to choose from all with relatively few ingredients so why not!

This quesadilla recipe is particularly easy and very adaptable depending on what veg you have, the basic ingredients are refried beans, cheese and tortillas (actually cheese can be left out if you are feeling healthy).

Had to rush this entry a bit as heading out for a curry at a friend’s so sorry if there are any obvious mistakes…. maybe I will include his dish tomorrow if I get the recipe! Watch this space 🙂

Serves at least 2.

Ingredients

Oil

Half an onion

1 pepper – I actually used half green and half red

3 tablespoons of sweetcorn – I guess?!

Half a tin of refried beans (spicy or non-spicy)

Fresh coriander

Cheese – I used vegan cheese but any good melty cheese works

Tortillas – I use the mini ones as they are easier to flip

To Serve – salsa, guacamole, sour cream (or vegan alternative), salad leaves, nachos, piñatas, sombreros   – the usual Mexican accompaniments

Method

  • Fry the chopped onion and peppers in a splash of oil in a reasonable sized saucepan on a medium high heat until soft and slightly brown. You could also add a chilli at this point if you like it hot!
  • Add the sweetcorn and fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Next add the refried beans and stir together with the veg, leave to heat through. This should only take a minute or 3.
  • When the mix is hot, add the chopped coriander if you have it.
  • Meanwhile heat a frying pan and grate some cheese.
  • Next assemble your quesadilla. Put one tortilla on a flat surface (chopping board is fine) spread a layer of the refried bean / veg mix across the whole tortilla. Sprinkle a sensible amount of cheese to cover the beans and sandwich the mix with another tortilla.
  • Transfer the tortilla sandwich (quesadilla) to the hot frying pan and leave to toast for a minute or 2, every so often peering under the edge – you want it to turn a light golden. Once achieved, you need to flip. As earlier mentioned, small tortillas are much easier to flip just using a fish slice/ spatula. If you are doing big ones I would suggest you place a plate over the top of the quesadilla whilst still in the pan, and then whilst holding tightly down on the plate turn the pan upside down so that the quesadilla ends up on your plate. Then you can slide it back into the pan to toast the other side.
  • Once toasted on both sides put aside to rest and a make some more. Then cut into quarters to serve

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PS you could make a bigger batch of the bean veg filling by using a whole tin and doubling veg etc and any leftover you can put it in the fridge for a couple of days and keep going back to it when you need more 😀

 

 

Avocado Chocolate Pots

Given that it’s Meat Free Week and this is Meat Free Manchester I have decided to up my game and do a recipe a day to help out anyone who’s giving vegetarianism or veganism a go for the first time. Granted, this particular recipe might not help you out in terms of Tuesday night tea but there is a lot of hype surrounding these (if you’ve been watching Masterchef you’ll know what I’m talking about) and I had to give it a go. Regardless they are a bit of fun and crazyily straightforward and surprisingly tasty – my meat-eating friend even enjoyed them!

I present to you the Avocado Chocolate Pot! This made two espresso pot sized desserts (2 servings)

Ingredients

2 small avocados or 1 big one – make sure they’re ripe but not too ripe.

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

About 1 tablespoon of cocoa

A slash of non-dairy milk (I used soya)

A squeeze of agave nectar

Method

Basically use some common sense for this recipe. I scooped out the avocado first and then by eye added the rest of the ingredients. To start just add a little cocoa / agave nectar / milk and blitz until smooth. You can then add more of whichever you need depending on how chocolatey / sweet / solid it is respectively.

Once you are happy with the proportions and taste put in little serving pots – espresso pots work really well. Then chill in the fridge.

To serve I grated some dark chocolate on the top for a bit of fancy J

 

Sorry for the lack of photos; me and my friend ate them before I had chance to get my phone out, they basically looked like chocolate pots though!

 

 

 

Chickpea, Couscous, Apricot, Pistachio and lots of other tasty things Salad

I started a new job this week and yesterday the whole office took part in a shared lunch. This was no ordinary office shared lunch, my new colleagues are foodies!

A list was left in the office kitchen for everyone to write their contributions on, this way there wouldn’t be too much of the same food, a quick glance showed a huge variety of inventive and exciting dishes that ranged from mini calzones to filo parcels to pumpkin cake. The pressure was on and I was keen to make a good first impression, especially as word had got round about this blog! After a closer inspection of the list I figured a salad would be a good addition but as I say it needed to be impressive. When I got home I was immediately drawn to Veggiestan by Sally Butcher, I knew there would be some interesting salads in there…..I settled on Spinach, Apricot and Bulghar Wheat Salad.

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The following recipe is based loosely on this, it would have been an exact copy but as I decided to try and buy the ingredients from my little local supermarket at 8pm on Tuesday night I had to make a number of adjustments.

I have to say though the finished product was yummy and it all got eaten J

Makes a big sharing portion, probably enough for 10 as a side

Salad Ingredients

2 tins of chickpeas

Apple juice (optional)

1 sachet of lemon and coriander couscous (I only used this because I couldn’t get plain)

1 big or 2 small carrots

1 small bag of spinach

½ red onion

150g dried apricots

1 bunch each of parsley and coriander

75g unslated/shelled pistachios

For the dressing

Olive oil, 1 lime, Cumin, Chilli flakes and Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Drain the chickpeas and put in a saucepan, cover with 50/50 water and apple juice until just covered. Put on a medium heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Drain and cool. This step is probably optional but I like to make sure my chickpeas are really soft and the original recipe calls for the bulghur wheat to be cooked in apple juice.
  2. Roughly chop the apricots, cover in warm water and leave to soften up for about 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the couscous according to the packet instructions. If you are using plain couscous make up about 110g and you might want to use vegetable stock.
  4. Shred the spinach, finely dice the onion and grate the carrot(s) and throw in a big serving dish or Tupperware (if taking to work). Sprinkle over the nuts.
  5. Chop the herbs and add to the veg and nuts.
  6. Grate the zest of the lime into a jug, add the juice and top up with twice as much oil. Stir in 1 teaspoon each of cumin and chilli flakes and season with salt and pepper.
  7. When the chickpeas and couscous are cool add to the bowl/tub. Drain the apricots and add to the mix – give it all a big stir at this point to combine everything.
  8. Finally pour over the dressing (I didn’t use the full amount so add a bit at a time and make a judgement)
  9. Stir again and serve or stick it in the fridge and don’t forget to pick it up on the way to work!

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Avocado Pasta Sauce

This weekend I was visiting my Dad and Step-mum in London so didn’t do any cooking (lots of eating though!) so when I got home late yesterday evening I had an urge to get in the kitchen.

My fridge was surprisingly well stocked and included a very squishy avocado – this would have to be the base of my meal. Below is the recipe that followed, it was delicious! However, I made a rather stupid mistake of blitzing the sauce in a thin plastic tub with a raised bottom, this resulted in a few splinters of plastic ending up in my finished dish. I ate it anyway but in case you’re as idiotic as me here’s a warning: make sure you use a normal bowl or something – basically anything that isn’t going to get chopped up by your hand blender! I blame tiredness!

Serves one

Ingredients

Pasta – whatever size or shape you have. To measure, I always fill my serving bowl half way up with the dried pasta (it just about doubles in size when cooked)

½ Red pepper – this addition is inspired by @drunkenbutcher’s Macaroni cheese (see last post)

1 Avocado – by the time I’d cut the brown/black bits off I probably had ¾ avocado so I reckon you could stretch a full one to serve 2

1 small clove of Garlic – this will be raw in the finished dish so adjust according to taste

1 tablespoon (ish) of olive oil

Splash/squeeze of lemon juice – again, to taste

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Boil a large pan of water and add a good amount of salt (apparently the water should be as salty as tears 😥 ), cook the pasta according to the packet instructions – about 10 minutes usually
  2. Finely dice the red pepper, heat a separate pan and sauté in a blob of vegan margarine. You just want this to sizzle away to soften and sweeten without colouring
  3. Crush the garlic and mix with the olive oil. I used a pestle and mortar but you can use a garlic crusher, a really fine grater or a knife on a chopping board
  4. Put the garlic, oil and avocado into a suitable bowl and use a hand blender to mix to a smooth paste. This could also be done in a food processor and potentially by hand in a pestle and mortar
  5. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste at this point and add more lemon or garlic or seasoning
  6. When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve a splash of the cooking water – this will help to thin the sauce
  7. Mix the avocado sauce and softened red peppers in with the pasta and loosen the sauce with as much or as little cooking water as you want. Serve!

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Red lentil and vegetable soup

Lentil soup is my absolute favourite. I used to make it with my dad when I was younger and we’d have it on cold winter evenings, sat next to the coal fire, after a chilly walk around Easby Abbey. My dad’s version wasn’t much like the one I make now (apart from the lentils); we always kept it more like a broth with lots of chunky veg. When I came to uni I decided to blend it and now I always do, it makes the soup really creamy without adding anything naughty. Sometimes I add some spice (cumin, coriander seeds, turmeric, chilli etc) but I think I prefer it without.

This recipe makes about 2 servings

Ingredients

A splash of oil

1 white onion

2 cloves of garlic

2 peeled carrots

2 sticks of celery

2 bay leaves

Freshly ground black pepper

Red lentils – I have never weighed them but probably around 100g

2 stock cubes dissolved in 500ml of boiling water

Method

  1. Dice the onion, carrots and celery into small (1cm) cubes and finely slice the garlic
  2. In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the chopped veg
  3. Add the bay leaves and black pepper and sweat for 5 – 10 minutes until the carrots are starting to soften – don’t brown
  4. Add the lentils – there should be enough just to lightly coat the veg. Stir for around 1 minute – careful the lentils might stick to the bottom of the pan!
  5. Add the stock and top up with enough water to cover all the veg  and lentils
  6. Leave to simmer for around 20 minutes, until the carrots are soft and the lentils are cooked – you may need to keep topping up with water.
  7. Bring it off of the heat, leave to cool for 10 minutes, FISH OUT THE BAY LEAVES, and blend until smooth. Add more water if too thick and season if required

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