The nights are getting much colder and the days much shorter. I find the perfect way to warm up in these wintery months is with a big bowl of thick wholesome soup. Lunchtimes for me are now a bowl of soup and nothing else. Not only are they superbly filling they are so good for you.
I like thick soup that are like a meal in a bowl. This is my go to soup this winter! It is very similar to my Spicy Red Lentil soup recipe but thanks to some great tips from family & friends, Ive added a few ‘extra’ ingredients which make it yummier, healthier and just so good.
So here it is, super easy to make, I make a huge pot of it at the weekend, then just heat up batches as needed through the week. My boys love it so much they eat at least two bowls each in one meal. Yum yum!
Red Lentil & Bulgur soup!
– 1 cup of Organic Red Lentils
– 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
– 1 cup Passata or freshly chopped tomatoes
– 2 small onions (finely diced)
– 4 carrots (peeled and finely diced)
– 2 tablespoons Olive oil
– 1 knorr Chicken pot stock
– 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
– Sea salt, ground black pepper & chilli flakes to taste
– 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
Place the lentils, bulgur, carrots, onions and tomatoes in a large saucepan.
Cover with enough water so that all ingredients are covered. Boil until all the ingredients are soft to the taste.
Leave to cool then with the use of a stick blender mix the ingredients into a purée like consistency, make sure it is lump free.
Add enough warm water to make the purée into a more soup like consistency. Add the olive oil, chicken stock, sugar, cumin and sprinkle on a little sea salt & pepper. Mix over a medium heat until all ingredients have dissolved.
Sprinkle on chilli flakes, dried mint and serve with warm crusty bread.
During the summer I become a semi vegetarian. Of course I still eat a little meat every now and again, and fish is a must, but the majority of meals eaten are made up of fresh vegetables.
Antalya is filled with the freshest of vegetables. The main reason being this is where most fruits and vegetables are grown and the dustributed to all parts of Turkey and abroad. The humid climate and strong sunshine, with the very fertile ground make it perfect for growing.
In our local market right near my paremts home here there is everything you could imagine, but always things in season. Right now its the sweetest juicy peaches, honey filled figs and the biggest array of green vegetables.
This dish is amazing & perfect for summer! Eaten cold it is refreshing, super tasty and so easy to make.
Ingredients – (enough for 4)
– 4-5 medium sized courgettes
– 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
– bunch of fresh parsley (finely chopped)
– bunch of fresh dill (finely chopped)
– 2 tables spoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
– Sea salt & black pepper
– 2 cups warm water
– 1 large onion (finely diced)
Prepare all the ingredients and set to one side.
Mix together in a large bowl the parsley, dill & garlic.
Peel and slice the courgettes in long thin strips.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the chopped onions and cook over a low heat until cooked and caramelized.
Lower the heat. Line the pan with a layer of the sliced courgettes. Like you are lining a lasagne dish with pasta.
Like making lasagne add a layer of the parsley dill mixture over the courgettes.
Next another layer of courgette strips.
Then another layer of the parsley dill mixture.
Continue until all the ingredients are used up. Add the water. Sprinkle on salt & pepper. Now leave to cook over a medium heat until the courgettes are soft to taste.
“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts when eating a home grown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard (American writer)
I read this quote recently and completely agree. Growing your own fruits & vegetables has to be one of lifes most pleasurable things!
With Summer here and the weather heating up we are harvesting our own homegrown fruits, vegetables & herbs. Next Spring why don’t you all try to grow your own. You don’t need a garden, a balcony or even a window sill will work perfectly.
I have found the vegetables and herbs which are easiest to grow and maintain are mint, chives and tomatoes.
Mint grows very fast, all it needs is watering and some sunshine and they are off! Perfect to tear into salads, add a few leaves to boiling hot water for a refreshing fresh mint tea or add to tomato soup for an amazing taste.
Chives are perfect cut up into a fresh potato salad.
The joy of eating homegrown tomatoes is just amazing. I have found growing tomatoes to be much more successful when you plant tomato plants rather than seeds. Use tomato feed and with plenty of watering and sunshine you will have success.
Get the little ones involved and you will all have fun next Spring!