This is such a simple soup and it just tastes delicious and so homely. This week I decided that I really wanted to spend the bare minimum on our weekly food shop because I had spent quite a lot at the beginning of the month, so I planned two meals which use the same ingredients but in slightly different ways. The first is this red lentil and root vegetable soup and the second is a red lentil and root vegetable curry. These are the ingredients I bought, I also had onions, garlic and herbs at home:
Red lentils are pretty cheap and because root veg is seasonal at the moment you can often find a good mix for quite cheap or on deals. Because we are going to be putting the veg in a soup and a curry then it doesn’t matter if it’s slightly past it’s best so definitely look in the reduced aisle in your supermarket for a good selection!
For the soup I have added some dried Marjoram and some fresh basil as well as the vegetable stock as the base, the curry uses all the same vegetables and lentils however I have added curry paste, fresh coriander and some ginger. These very slight differences create two different meals which are both great for a cheap week of food!
Another difference is how big you chop up your vegetables, for the soup I kept them very small however for the curry I chopped them up really large and chunky to make it more substantial. Here are the vegetables chopped up for the soup. You want to try to get all the root veg approx the same size so it all cooks evenly.
1 Stick Celery
1/2 Sweet potato
1/2 Celeriac (or potato or parsnip)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup/ 160g Red Lentils
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1.3 litres Vegetable Stock (click here to see a recipe)
1 tblspn Dried Marjoram (or dried basil)
Fresh basil to garnish
To prepare the veg you need to dice the onion and finely slice the celery. Chop the carrots, turnips, sweet potato all with their skin on to roughly the same size. Peel the celeriac and also chop to the same size. Peel and crush your garlic.
In a large saucepan, heat some olive oil and then add all of the chopped veg except the garlic into the pan and saute for 10 minutes stirring frequently until softened. This gets the flavour starting to release from the veg.
Then add the garlic, dried marjoram, lentils and canned tomatoes and stir so everything is combined well.
Add the vegetable stock then turn the heat down to a low/ medium simmer, put a lid on the soup and cook for 20 minutes.
Once cooked then check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper to your taste.
Serve garnished with fresh basil to add some nice freshness.
Whats your “go to” cheap week recipe? Do you use a lot of lentils to bulk up meals when on a budget?