Warmth in Winter – Organic Tomato and Lentil Soup
Given the Northern Hemisphere is in the midst of winter, here’s a delicious and nutritious soup to warm the cockles of your heart. Using entirely organic ingredients, its very cheap, easy to make and stuffed full of vitamins to boost the immune system.
I’ve been making this soup as a winter staple for my family for years, and added to it as I went along. The amounts suggested below are guidelines, tweak and add more as you wish. You could also experiment using different winter vegetables like squashes.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of mixed herbs
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pulped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Approx 75-100g small red lentils
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- Approx 250 ml water
- 1 large carrot, grated
- Optional: handful of spinach leaves (frozen is fine, about 5 small rounds)
Using a large saucepan, sweat or gently fry the onion, garlic and herbs in the olive oil until the onion is soft but not browned. Rinse the lentils and add to onion. Keep the heat low. Add the chopped tomatoes and water. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the grated carrot. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the spinach at this point if using. (Allow a little extra time for frozen spinach). Simmer for another 5 minutes until the lentils are soft. Turn heat off. This is the point at which I add the seasoning. I’ve read that if you add salt at the beginning of cooking, it will reduce the amount of Vitamin C. Thus I always add salt at the end of the cooking time.
I blend the soup using a handheld blender once I know the soup mixture is no longer boiling hot. Blend until you reach the consistency you like. This soup is hearty enough to eat on its own. For added piquancy, cut a couple of rashers of organic unsmoked nitrate free bacon, fry until crispy and then scatter on the soup.
A useful recipe to have: it takes about 35 minutes from opening the fridge to find the ingredients to serving the soup. My children love it too. I love making this soup because it’s so simple and cheap to make. Organic living doesn’t cost the earth, and works wonderfully within budgets too.
Filed under: Organic Kitchen
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