Lemongrass scented carrot and apple soup (vegan)


This isn’t just a soup but an absolute sensation, not least because it’s coloured very spring appropriate but also because it’s so fantastically delicious that you’d need excuses to make it over and over again. The earthy sweetness of carrots with the juiciness of apples which is offset every so gently with an undercurrent of lemongrass makes every spoonful a strange delight that though a bit familiar is also something of a mystery. Calming, comforting and almost too easy. This is a soup for all occasions.

the ingredients are apples, carrots, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, black pepper, soy sauce, cumin powder (not pictured), onion(not pictured)

Note: I have used lemongrass stalks here, if however you cannot find them or have no access to them then simply use 1 heaping tablespoonful of Thai yellow/red curry paste.

chop the apples and carrots into bite size pieces

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add in the chopped onions. (The onions aren’t pictured, but you need them)

add in the ginger and saute for a minute

before adding in some salt

and lemongrass. If you’re using curry paste then add it after the carrots and apples have cooked down slightly.

Mix in well and saute for a few minutes

finally add in the carrots and apples. Give them a quick turn in with the flavourings and this needs nothing more than cooking down to a soft mush.

The vegetable and fruit will leach out a lot of juice but I’m still adding a bit more water just to let everything simmer gently while I get on with laundry life.

cover the pot and let it cook on a low-medium flame. Keep checking occasionally, giving it a stir to coax the fruit and veg into softening.

After ten minutes of cooking the apples had softened to a pulp but the carrots still had a bite to them and we want to make everything smooth. If you’re using curry paste then this is the right time to add it.

While everything is still cooking and slowly becoming softer, add in the seasonings. Soy sauce

ground cumin. It was not pictured in the ingredients list but it’s an important part of this process.

and black pepper. Mix it all well and cover the pot again to let everything mix and soften. Add more water if needed.

FInally, after almost twenty minutes of cooking everything was as needed. Soft and mushy.

At this stage you can retrieve the lemongrass

and add more water to bring up the quantity that can make it easily blendable and soupy.

I am using a hand blender, but you can use a mixer or even a manual soup strainer as needed.

also add in a big squeeze of lemon.

depending on how you enjoy your soups, you can make it as smooth or as chunky. I like mine somewere in the middle.

and there you have it! Delicious, hearty and sweet with that unique fresh tang distinctly lemongrass which somehow turns into a soft hint of citric note, subtle and deep.


Ingredients

Carrots: 500g - 700g
Apples: 2 large or 3 medium
lemongrass: 2 stalks (if using curry paste then use 1 heaping tablespoon)
onion: 1 medium
Ginger: 1 inch piece
Cumin powder: 2 tsp
Black pepper: to taste
coconut oil: 2 tbsps
lemon juice: 1 tbsp
salt: to taste
water : 500mls + as needed 

Chop the vegetables and fruit into bite sized pieces. You can even grate the carrots for quicker cooking.

Recipe instructions: In a large pot heat the coconut oil and add in chopped onions and ginger. Saute for a minute and add in salt and lemongrass.

Give it a mix and cook for a minute before adding in chopped carrots and onions. Let cook until soft. (Add the curry paste if using once the carrots and apples have softened)

Add in soy sauce, pepper and cumin powder and stir together and let cook before completely softened into a mush.

Retrieve the lemongrass stalks. Add water and blend to form into a soup. Bring to a simmer before finally spritzing with lemon juice.

Serve hot

Vegetable lentil coconut curry (vegan)


This bowl of lentil curry which is bit of a twist on traditional dahl makes for such a cozy and filling weekday dinner that can be enjoyed both with rice or just as soup and is not only comforting but also nutritious and easy, not to mention completely plant based and unbelievably delicious.

This can be tailor made to suit your taste buds. It can be made spicier or more sombre and is a great way to clear the crisper drawer of any lingering forgotten vegetables.

All you need are some vegetables of choice and here I have beans, carrots, spinach and pepper along with the very essential flavour base that’s made of onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Also soaked lentils, coconut milk and turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and cumin seeds.

chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and boil with soaked lentils until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Do not boil spinach along with the veg and lentils.

Chop the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil

Add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter

add the onions

with some salt and cook until golden brown.

add the ginger and garlic

and cook until it no longer smells of raw garlic.

Now add the tomatoes followed by spices that are coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli powder.

Stir well to combine and keep stirring until the tomatoes are cooked.

Now add the coconut milk and bring to a boil

and add in the spinach if using.

The curry at this stage will be quite thick and you might need to add water.

Let it simmer and come to a boil and this will really draw out the flavour from the coconut milk.

Add the cooked lentil and veg. I might have cooked mine too long but that’s fine.

Add some salt because the curry will need it.

I also ended up adding some more chilli powder because I like this curry a bit spicy.

Let it simmer for a few minutes before turning off the flame and putting a lid on to let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Depending on how thick or thin you want this curry water can be added.

Serve hot with flatbreads or rice or just help yourself to a large bowl and let it nourish and heal you this winter.


Ingredients

Red lentils : 60g
Yellow lentils: 100g
Coconut milk: 250g
Tomatoes : 200g (2 medium)
Onion: 150g (1 medium)
garlic and ginger chopped: 1 tbsp each
Chopped veg: 350-400g
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Water: 700mls
Spinach: 100g (optional)
Salt to taste

Spices
Cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric : 1 tsp
Coriander powder, garam masala: 2 tsp

Recipe instructions:

Soak the lentils overnight or at least 3-4 hours before cooking. Add the chopped vegetables to the lentils and cook until softened. Leave out the spinach if using.

For the flavour base dice the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil and add the cumin seeds until they splutter. Add chopped onions and some salt and cook until the onions are golden brown in colour. Add ginger and garlic and cook until the garlic no longer smells raw. (roughly a minute). Add in the chopped tomatoes along with the spices and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer before finally adding in the spinach if using. Add some water to thin out the curry and some more salt.

Let it come to a bubble before finally adding in the cooked lentils and vegetables.

Put a lid on the pan and let it gently simmer for a few minutes.

Lastly check for seasonings and add more salt or other spices as needed.

If it’s too thick then you can add some water but let it come to a boil again after that.

Serve hot.