Soup is the perfect meal. It’s warm, nourishing and easy to prepare.
Soup can be eaten all year long. In winter I eat hearty soups like pea and ham cooked with smoked pork bones or Moroccan lamb and lentil. In spring I eat chicken broths and Vietnamese pho. In summer I enjoy light vegetable broths and when Autumn hits I tend towards rich minestrones and thick vegetable soups.
This zucchini and red lentil soup is a staple in my kitchen at any time of year. I love it for it’s simplicity. The vegetable components of the soup, the onion, garlic, ginger and zucchini are all grated, for quick easy preparation. Turmeric and cumin flavour the soup with a simple Indian flavour and the red lentils cook to a soft consistency. And the best part – there’s no blending!
For the zucchini, you’ll need a grater with a coarse grating side to it. If you don’t have one, it’s a great tool to own. I coarsely grate zucchini for my stir-fry, my risotto, and my pasta dishes. It’s a quick way of getting a green vegetable into a meal with out fiddly slicing and dicing. The ginger and garlic are easily grated on a microplane grater – a fantastic tool to have in the draw.
The best way to finish this soup is with a dollop of yoghurt. I tend to use a “Greek style” yoghurt as my all rounder, though natural yoghurt does the job too. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of fresh herb, a dollop of yoghurt, it’s the prefect finish to this beautiful vegetable soup. Enjoy!
Zucchini and red lentil soup
2 tbsp olive or grape seed oil
1 onion, grated and squeezed lightly
2 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ¼ cups red lentils
2 ltr vegetable stock
Cracked black pepper
2 tbsp chopped coriander stem
Greek style yoghurt
Extra virgin olive oil
Heat a soup pot with the oil, add onion, garlic, ginger and spices, cook gently for 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, red lentils and cracked pepper, bring to the boil and cook gently for 20 minutes.
Coarsely grate zucchini. Add to soup with chopped coriander stem, simmer a further 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning before serving.
To serve, ladle into bowls, add a dollop of yoghurt, a sprinkle of chopped coriander and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Handy tip – Portion and freeze left over soup for next week when there’s no enthusiasm for cooking.