Although I am a bit of a lizard and I can’t think of anything better than bake in the sun all day long, since moving to the UK over 7 years ago autumn has become my favourite season.
I love the colours of the Yorkshire countryside, wearing boots and scarves, fireworks and the best holiday of all: Halloween.
Plus we always go on holiday in autumn which definitely makes the return of cold weather more bearable!
Foodwise, autumn also marks the comeback of the ultimate comfort food: soup! And, yes, there will be many more veggie soup recipes here on the site in the coming weeks.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one of my favourite comfort foods of all time: a very basic lentil soup. Prep the veg base, add the lentils, add the stock, make a cuppa and watch some telly…and the soup is done. It’s that easy.
It’s one of the soups I grew up with in Italy and one that I keep making over and over again.
The secret ingredient? Bay leaves! If you wish, you can make the recipe without but they give the soup such an amazing flavour they are well worth adding to your shopping list.
You’ll normally find them with the rest of the herbs/spices or in the World Foods sections (they’re often used in Indian cooking so some supermarkets will have them there).
So a lentil soup that is easy, budget-friendly, warm, filling and good for you. What more could you want?
- 2 tbsp of good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large clove of garlic, crushed
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 200g dried green lentils
- 4 small dried bay leaves
- 2l vegetable stock
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a soup pot, then add the onion and fry until soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook together for approximately 30 seconds, stirring continuously.
- Add the carrots and the celery and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and the lentils and mix well. Then pour in the stock, add the bay leaves and bring to a simmer. In my experience, the time of cooking varies a lot depending on which brand of lentils you are using, however, the lentils should be cooked after around 50 minutes to an hour. The lentils should be tender and the stock should have reduced down as you can see in the pictures.
- Serve hot with fresh crusty bread.
Lentil soup is a staple for many vegetarians and vegans – do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share? Please comment below!