If you are in need of warming from the inside out, this is the soup for you. A meal in a bowl, this will fill you up for hours and the earthy flavours of puy lentils and celeriac alongside the punchy chilli and basil will lift the spirits and make you glad it’s winter so you can eat comfort foods like this (maybe).
Still wanting to continue the new year efforts of eating healthily and making my daily lunch from scratch, I was keen to make something that I’d look forward to all morning rather than getting caught short and having to opt for the boring supermarket soup. So I made up a big batch of this and have put a stash in the freezer.
It’s actually more of a veggie stew than a soup – there’s nothing watery and insipid about this – and if you were having it in the evening it would be great with some crusty bread and cheese.
My soup is adapted from a BBC recipe intended for just one person – my version has more veg and spice, and will give you about six or seven portions. Some for now and some for later – ideal!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sticks celery
2 red onions
3 garlic cloves
1 medium celeriac (about 500g with the skin peeled off)
4 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
250g puy lentils (dried)
1 litre of chicken or veg stock
Whiz the carrot, celery, onion and garlic up in a food processor until finely chopped (or do my hand if you prefer). Put the olive oil in a heavy based pan such as a Le Creuset and warm up. Add the veg and fry gently for about 10 minutes, without letting it colour.
Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and cut into small cubes. Add this to the veg and give it all a good stir, and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato purée and chilli flakes, then add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and leave it to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch.
Chop or tear up your basil leaves and stir it in before serving.
- Serves 6 or 7 people
- Freezes beautifully
- Easily halved or doubled, depending on how much you need