Soup is the perfect winter meal here, as it’s cooked on our gas hob. That means I can make it during a power cut, while the electric oven, Remoska and slow cooker are all useless.
Tomato and lentil soup is so easy, I make sure I’ve always got the ingredients in stock (or in the garden). It’s delicious, too. When I’ve made this soup with brown lentils instead of red, it’s fooled a carnivore with its almost meaty richness.
It’s hard to give quantities as I’ve made this soup so often. To be honest I put the stock cubes into one of the emptied tomato tins, and dissolve them by topping up with some of the boiling water. Then I pour that mixture into the soup pan, and add a couple more cans full of boiling water. This also cleans the tins ready for recycling, but watch your fingers when doing this. Those metal tins get very hot!
A large onion, peeled and sliced
Two big potatoes, peeled and diced
A couple of sticks of celery, chopped
250g lentils (red makes a soup like the photos, brown lentils seem richer and more filling)
Two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes in juice
Three Kallo organic vegetable stock cubes
1.5 litres boiling water
Rinse the lentils well under running water. Put them in a big saucepan with all the vegetables, and the tinned tomatoes. Dissolve the stock cubes in the water (see above for how I do this, but take care) and pour that in, too.
Stir, bring to the boil then turn down the heat. Let the soup simmer gently for about an hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the lentils soft.
Take the pan off the heat and liquidise, or use a stick blender. During power cuts, I use a potato masher—if I can’t delegate the job to somebody else!
Season to taste with salt and pepper, then reheat gently to serve. Home-made wholemeal or wholegrain bread goes perfectly with this, as you can see in the picture.
A bowl of tomato and lentil soup, and you’ll be ready to face winter again.