Wintery weather has finally lashed itself over Melbourne and I just want to snuggle up in front of the fire with a big bowl of warm, comforting soup.
I try to make a big pot of soup every week. Not only is it economical, a bowl of lentil-laden goodness is filling and healthy too.
Soups are also a great way to use up the half or near empty jars of spice pastes you have languishing around in your fridge. The harissa paste was almost empty and a perfect match for the sad little capsicums rolling around in the crisper drawer. You could mix and match with whatever you have in your fridge (although I must say the harissa gives a nice hint of heat without blowing your socks off!)
The rest of the ingredients are basic pantry staples - tinned tomatoes, tinned corn and lentils.
This makes a very thick, almost stew like consistency soup (which we love). If you prefer a thinner consistency, use an extra 2 cups of stock or water.
Or why not leave it thick and turn it into a Mexican supper with a generous dollop of sour cream, squeeze of lime juice, fresh coriander and eat it with tortilla chips?
This pot will keep us going for most of the week but it would also freeze beautifully.
What's your perfect cold weather comfort food?
Recipe: Spicy Lentil & Corn Soup
An original recipe by Di Nolan
1 Tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 sticks celery, diced
2 red capsicums, cored and diced
1 Tblsp harissa paste
2 x 440g tins diced tomato
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups extra water (I half fill each of the empty tomato tins, give them a swirl to get the last of the tomatoey goodness and tip this in for the extra water).
2 cups red split lentils
1 x 440g tin corn kernels, drained
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot over low-medium heat.
- Add the onion, celery and capsicum and saute until the onion is softened.
- Add the harissa paste and cook for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the tinned tomato, stock,extra water, lentils and corn kernels and stir well. Bring pot to the boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer soup for 30 minutes, stirring every so often to stop lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (Alternatively you could sit the pot on a simmer mat if you have one.)