When I started prep for this soup earlier today i just thought I’d post it on my instagram stories and mention that it’s from Liz Earle magazine and if you don’t have the mag then it’s available online. But then I quickly realised that it’s the perfect soup to use cheats! I mentioned before that I always keep frozen onions in my freezer which come in handy in many dishes but especially soups, I also always have a jar of chopped garlic in my fridge again perfect in soups. This soup lends itself to so many time saving hacks! So here I will include some of my tips that take away that panic when reading a long list of ingredients when deciding what to cook….yes I do that too!!!
Firstly I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible at using food from my freezer! But what I’m really good at is keeping a stash of frozen ingredients that are used in flavoursome curries and soups! And I do use them. Things like curry leaves or kaffir lime leaves which can be hard to find, if you see them buy them and freeze them in freezer bags, wash and dry them with kitchen towel then just label a bag or container. Ginger is great, you don’t need to peel it first just pop it in a bag/container. Take out of the freezer and within a couple of mins you can easily peel it and grate it. If using organic ginger you don’t need to peel it before using. Chillies are great too just do the same as the ginger then when you’re ready to use one just hold it under the tap and you’re good to go. Lemongrass can be frozen as well. So get stocked up ready for your winter warmers!!
Right back to the soup. The other reason I thought it would be a good idea to share it is because I’ve made this soup countless times, and yet today I made a mistake because instead of getting my notes out I used the online recipe. It’s no big thing but when I tasted it for seasoning at the end I thought it tasted different and couldn’t think why then I remembered you use some of the cumin when roasting the cauliflower then the rest goes in with the spices when making the soup!! I’ll remind you in the recipe!
This soup could almost be made without out going to the shops in fact totally without going out if you have a bottle of lemon juice! so it’s perfect for snow days! Just use frozen cauliflower!
So lets get going with this wonderful, delicious winter warmer.
You will need: A saucepan and a baking tray.
Preheat oven 220/gas 7/ fan 200
- 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
- 3 tbsp of oil ( I use light olive oil )
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1.5L chicken or veg stock
- 400g red split lentils, rinsed well
- 250ml coconut milk
- Juice of 2 lemons, plus extra to taste
- Sea salt flakes
Toss the cauliflower florets in one tbsp of the oil, half a tbsp of the cumin and a generous sprinkling of salt. Roast for 25 mins or until tender and charred.
Whilst your cauliflower is roasting heat the remaining oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and cook gently until soft and golden. Stir in the garlic, chilli, ginger and spices including the CUMIN. Fry for a few minutes more, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the pan smells fragrant, be careful here don’t let the spices burn.
Add the rinsed lentils, stirring them around in the spiced oil, then pour in the stock. Simmer for ten minutes, scooping off any residue that rises to the top. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, until the lentils have collapsed to make a thick soup. Add more water to achieve the consistency you like.
Remove from the pan and add the lemon juice. Add more if you like I usually put extra lemon for people to add if they want. Lastly add salt to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the roasted cauliflower on top. You can add extra slices of chilli on top, I love the extra kick!
If you have leftovers it reheats well, just pop the cauliflower in the microwave. I love having a soup in the fridge ready for those cold days when you just want to get cosy.
Perfect hug in a bowl.