Seasonal soup for full flavour

Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON
Arlene Thompson. INLT 16-611-CON

At Carrickfergus cookery school, I like to teach students the importance of cooking with foods that are in season as it is usually cheaper, more nutritious, adds variety and also tastes better.

This lentil soup is made with fresh young spinach leaves, which are in season now, and with fresh ginger, garlic and tomatoes it is mega tasty and so good for you.

Lentil and spinach soup

2 carrots

2 celery stalks

2 medium onions

2 cloves of garlic

1.5 litres chicken stock

olive oil

thumb-sized piece of root ginger

1/2-1 fresh red chilLi to your taste

10 cherry tomatoes

300g red lentils

200g spinach

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g milk

Method

1.Peel and roughly slice the carrots. Slice the celery. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice and garlic.

Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add tablespoons of olive oil. Add all chopped and sliced ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.

Cook for around 10 minutes with the lid ajar until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape, and the onion is lightly golden.

2.Meanwhile peel and finely slice the ginger. Seed and slice the chilli and slice the tomatoes in half.

Add the boiling stock to the pan with the lentils, ginger, chili and tomatoes. Give the soup a good stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on, or until the lentils are cooked.

3.Add the spinach and continue to cook for 30 seconds, then add the milk and heat through.

4.Season well with salt and pepper. You can serve the soup as is; or liquidise until smooth.

Divide between your serving bowls. Delicious topped with a dollop of natural yoghurt.