It is soup weather. Which is, frankly, the only thing that this post-snow freezing-slush has going for it. I love soup, and I am determined that my children will love it too.
Actually, that’s a complete lie; I could care less if they love it or not, but – God help me - they WILL eat it. To facilitate this, I announce the soup’s arrival in the high-pitched, over-excited manner of a coked-up tv presenter, according to its colour.
Behold the Orange Soup:
It may not sound– or look – appetising, but it’s very easy, very cheap, and very tasty. And if the call-it-by-its-colour trick doesn’t work, employ the other pre-schooler favourite: name the most disgusting thing you can think of as its main ingredient. So: behold the Blood-Clot soup... Which – of course - is best eaten with Pus & Guts (aka cheese and tomato relish) toasted sandwiches:
Tomato and Lentil Soup
You need (for 4 very generous portions)
- Some oil
- 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- One stick of celery, roughly chopped
- One large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- Two tins of tomatoes
- 1 litre of vegetable stock (a cube or bouillon powder is fine)
- Two handfuls of red lentils
- A handful of parsley, chopped (optional)
Add a dollop of oil to a pan, and place over a high heat. When it’s hot-ish, add the chopped onion and leave to cook for a few minutes – until it’s started to sizzle. (If you like your soup to have a bit of a kick, and you have accommodating children (or indeed no children at all) add some chopped chilli, or a tablespoon of cumin powder (or both) to the pot now and leave cook for a minute.)
Throw in the celery and carrots, stir to combine, and when it’s all sizzling put the lid on the pan and turn the heat down low. Leave it to soften – about 7 minutes (checking occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking or burning – if it is, add a couple of glugs of water to the pan and replace the lid).
Add the tinned tomatoes, breaking them up if you’re using whole ones. Bring to the boil, then lob in the lentils and the stock. Bring to the boil again, then cover and leave to simmer until the lentils are almost disintegrating – about 15 minutes. (Use this time to mop up all the wet sludgy shite which your kids have dragged in from the garden on their shoes AGAIN.)
If you like a bit of chunk in your soup, just season it and add the parsley. However, obvious chunks of UUUUUUUUUGGHHHTOMATOES are banned in most toddler-abodes (certainly in this one) so either employ the old blood-clot-trick, or puree the hell out of it, as I did, before adding the parsley. (Which obviously isn’t parsley AT ALL, but rather flakey bits of goblin skin...)
Then gobble up QUICKLY before the aliens that live under the stairs come and steal it.