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Soups are a great winter food. They are warming and satisfying, and yet avoid the stodginess of so many winter staples. I genuinely think that a bowl of hot homemade soup and a freshly baked loaf of bread with butter is one of the nicest meals around. This soup is my go-to for a quick lunch or dinner, when I want something hot and nutritious but have absolutely no energy, imagination or time. It takes ten minutes of attention and a further ten-fifteen minutes to cook. And then is a delicious and healthy meal for four. There aren’t many dishes you can say that about.



Curried Lentil Soup (serves four)

Two Onions

One Tablespoon minced ginger

Two Tablespoons crushed/finely chopped garlic

One teaspoon curry powder

One teaspoon ground cumin

Two teaspoons cumin seeds

Two teaspoons ground coriander

One cup of lentils

Four cups of vegetable stock

Three carrots

One cup sliced green beans

Half a bunch of spinach

OR substitute one and a half cups of frozen vegetables for the three above ingredients

Finely dice the onions and heat them in a large pot. When they are becoming translucent, add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute. Add the spices, stir thoroughly and continue to heat. When the onions are cooked but before the spices burn, add the carrots, beans, lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the lentils and carrots are soft. A few minutes before the soup is finished, tear up the spinach and add to the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning. If you are using frozen vegetables, add with about five minutes cooking time remaining.

Serve hot, preferable with a crusty wholemeal bread.

This recipe was adapted from Family Circle’s Fast Vegetarian.