Love your leftovers: Lentil soup
So, one of the things I’ve been doing in my bullet journal is keeping a meal planner that also acts as a meal tracker, so that I can see what I’ve been eating, whether I’m getting 5 a day, etc. I just track breakfast, lunch and dinner, not snacks, because I eat kind of a lot of snacks and I know they have no nutritional value, but right now I’m not really thinking too much about that – it’s more about seeing whether my main meals are balanced. Surprise surprise, they’re not really! I don’t eat enough fruit or vegetables, I definitely eat too much meat, and I rely very heavily on toast to get me through the day. Theo eats way healthier than I do.
I have also noticed lately that we’ve not been using up our leftovers like we used to do. A lot of our veg ends up on the compost, which is just a huge waste of money. So, this year I’m hoping to make more soup. Peter doesn’t really eat a lot of soup, so I don’t tend to make it, but when I was younger, every Sunday my dad would make soup using whatever leftovers we had around the house – bits of chicken stew or dumplings or spare bits of onion – everything would go into a pressure cooker with some basic ingredients and then got blitzed to make a delicious soup.
Last week I did the same and it’s just a brilliant end of the week thing to do, and makes around 5-6 portions, so perfect for lunchtimes during the week (meaning Peter doesn’t need to have any!). I made this recipe using up veggies that were just on the edge of going squishy and some which we had no plans for. It was absolutely delicious, and I’ve got 3 more portions waiting for me in the freezer.
I’ve listed out the ingredients I used, should you want to make the same recipe, but I’d say treat this as more of a guideline – green or red lentils or split peas with some form of potato or pumpkin or sweet potato along with some onion and carrot will make a great soup with pretty much anything else you add in there!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot
- 5 spring onions
- 2 carrots
- 6 chestnut mushrooms
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 potatoes
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2.5 cups green lentils
- 1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
- 1.5 cups frozen spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step one: Roughly chop all of the veg. Add the shallot, spring onions and carrot to a large pot with the olive oil and fry off for around 5 minutes until soft. Add in the mushrooms and cook on low for another 5 minutes.
Step two: Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple cider vinegar and then add in the garlic granules, potatoes, sweet potatoes and lentils. Cover with water and bring to the boil.
Step three: Cook for around 25 minutes until the lentils and potatoes are soft, then add in the mustard spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Blend in a blender or using a stick blender. At this point it is likely to be VERY thick so add water until it reaches a consistency you’re happy with. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step four: If you have any leftover herbs lying around, chop them up and throw them on top along with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I had some parsley and mint, and it was loverly, so highly recommend.
Super easy, minimal prep, and a great way to both use up the veggies that are about to become life expired AND to give yourself a shot of vitamins each lunchtime. Win win!
What are your favourite recipes for using up leftovers, particularly vegetables?
PS: I got a big fancy food processor for Christmas, and it’s pretty awesome, but this is the stick blender I use – I’ve had it SINCE MY SECOND YEAR OF UNI. No lie – that means it is 16 years old. Still going strong! The day it dies I might have to have a little ceremony…