Brown lentil and vegetable soup topped with yoghurt and pesto (no dairy) 2 cups of brown lentils soaked overnight 2 onions 2 cloves garlic 4 cm piece ginger 4 sticks of celery 2 carrots piece of broccoli (200 grams) 1 large zucchini 1 litre vegetable stock
Rinse (about 4 times and pick out any rubbishy looking stuff) then soak the lentils overnight. The next day drain off the water. Put lentils in a large saucepan and cover with water and simmer till lentils soften approximately 30 minutes (not too sure about that time I think it would be wise to keep checking every 10 minutes??)*
In a heavy-bottomed pan, saute finely diced onion, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes. Finely dice the celery, carrots and zucchini then add to onions and stir briefly. Add the lentils from the other pan (don’t discard the water) Add the stock to top up and season with freshly ground pepper and some sea salt.
Cook for 10 more minutes on a gentle simmer so that vegetables become tender but not mushy. Add the broccoli cut into small flowerlets,
Serve in a bowl topped with plain yoghurt and .................
My dairy-free pesto
In a mortar grind 2 cloves of garlic a pinch of salt some cracked pepper and 30 grams of pine nuts with two big handfuls of fresh basil. Drizzle in some olive oil a bit at a time until it reaches a nice paste but the overall texture should still be fairly rough.
You can keep the pesto in a container for up to a week. The yoghurt combined with the pesto also makes a lovely salad dressing
* What I have learned about lentils, brown lentils hold their shape unlike red lentils, which soften quickly and lose that lovely red colour.
I like to use curry powders with the red lentil soups and have the brown lentils with lots of green vegetables. I think I added some frozen spinach to this soup which made it look even healthier.
If you don’t add the ginger to the soup first up, it is also good if you grate some fresh ginger over the top of the soup once you have served it up then topp it with the yoghurt.