Mediterranean Lentil & Pesto Soup


Posted by in August's Magazine

So that soup train I talked about a while back? If there were to be am engine then it would be this stunner. It’s nuanced in profile, with just the right amount of licks coming from the fennel seeds and fresh parsley – the chilli and paprika add a soft warming glow to whole the affair comfortingly circling around the star of the show; the pesto…
… Which is super easy to make and nut free, aces all round for you no-can-do-nuts out there (and also much cheaper than trying to find pine nuts that don’t cost a bazillion pounds). It keeps for about a week but really it lasted about 4 days when left with this pesto- eyed goblin.

Soup
Serves about 4

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  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Chilli, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp ground Peppercorns
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1/2 large Courgette, sliced and halved
  • 1 scant cup Puy Lentils (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 handful fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 250ml Passata
  • 1 litre Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Pesto (+ extra for serving)

Heat oil in a medium pan, add onions and celery and cook on medium for 5 mins. Add garlic, chilli and fennel seeds, cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and courgettes and cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with extra teaspoon of pesto on top.

Nut Free, Vegan Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup toasted Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 small cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt and Pepper

Pop the basil, garlic and seeds in a blender and pulse until reduced. Add the lemon, yeast and seasoning and blitz for 30 seconds (you’ll probs have to scrape the sides down a few times). Add oil in stages until you have your desired consistency (I used about a 1/3 cup), pop in a clean jar and cover with extra oil to preserve.

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