September was a super busy month. The usual challenges of settling my boy back into the school routine, after six weeks of holidays. Starting my classes again and this year I had a few (too many) extra things thrown into the mix. I shouldn’t have been surprised to get struck down by a nasty cold the day after my birthday!
I discovered A Girl Called Jack’s Ultimate Feisty Soup when I had a similar “back to school” cold last year. It seemed to cure my sore throat overnight and I didn’t go on to develop an awful hacking cough like I usually do. Since then the recipe has evolved into my own comforting soup and I enjoy it just as much when I am well.
I use less tomatoes and extra stock, because I added lentils to make it more of a meal. I happened to have an odd leek hanging about so that went in as well. I was in a hurry so I grated the carrots instead of chopping them. They cook quicker that way and it meant that I didn’t feel the need to blend the soup once it was cooked.
I don’t tend to weigh vegetables for soup so there’s no need to follow the quantities to the letter, it’s just a guide. I have a Paddington mug which I use to measure out my lentils, but that’s not much use to you, so I’ve given a quantity. I use vegetable stock, but you could use chicken, if that’s your preference. If you want chunkier veg then that would work too. Just extend the cooking time.
Germ Busting Soup
1 red onion finely chopped
1 leek finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic crushed
4 carrots (approx 300g) grated
1.5 litres of stock
400g chopped tomatoes
chilli to taste*
fresh ginger grated**
2 tbsp lemon juice***
Heat a good glug of olive oil in a large pan.
Throw in the onion and leek (if using) and cook until softened. I put the lid on, and turn down the heat, to sweat them and retain any moisture
Add the garlic and spice and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.
Add the carrots and stir, then pour in the stock.
Throw in the lentils and stir in the tomatoes.
Add the lemon juice and simmer for 10 mins or until the carrot is soft.
You could blend the soup at this stage if you wanted to, but I like the texture of the lentils so prefer to leave it as it is. Enjoy!
*I use one fresh red chilli or more usually half a tsp from the jar above, because my children like the soup, but not too much heat.
**I keep fresh ginger (peeled and wrapped in foil) in the freezer and just grate a finger’s width in. 1 tsp of ground ginger would do instead.
***Fresh if I have it, otherwise from a bottle is fine.
PS This soup freezes well and I like to keep some on hand during the Winter months