Vegetable soup

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1. One biggish onion
2. Two cloves of garlic
3. A small leek
4. Two ounces of red lentils.
5a. A selection of the following, depending on what you have, plus any not on this list.
5b Leftovers (I used yesterday’s potatoes, a tiny bit of frozen peas beans and sweet corn, also the last inch of a courgette and an aubergine as well as a thin bendy carrot rather past its best. Cabbage, spinach and left over lettuce and other salad items sometimes go in ours as well.)
6. One vegetable stock cube
7. Two pints of water, or left over water vegetables have been cooked in.
8. Two table spoonfuls of olive or rapeseed oil. (Can use two ounces of butter or marge instead if that’s what you’ve got.)
9. A medium sized saucepan or a deep frying pan with a lid.

Heat two table spoonfuls olive oil over a low heat.

Peel and chop the onion, cloves of garlic and leek and add to the oil. Put the lid on so that they can all sweat and exchange flavours. (this is very important).

Pop in any vegetables you may have plus any leftovers. All cut up smallish.

Let them all sweat together for a few minutes still over a low heat.

Rinse the lentils thoroughly under running water and add to the pan plus two pints of water and the stock cube cut into small pieces. (Yesterday’s potato or vegetable water can be used instead of tap water and will add taste. Always keep vegetable water for soup)

Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on as long as you can . Supposed to be two hours but sometimes you are too hungry for this. At least until all the veg is cooked and the lentils are soft. and coming away from their shells.

Serve with home made bread (or flatbreads) or cheese on toast. Grated cheese can also be sprinkled on top of the soup. Plain toast is good for dipping in.

© Pennie GIllis

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