I know the weather isn’t going to be the same everywhere, but it is cold, windy and raining here today, definitely ‘soup weather’! Actually, the weather doesn’t have to be miserable to enjoy this, it makes a simple, tasty meal in almost any conditions.
I love this simple soup: you take some humble ingredients, throw them in a pan with water, simmer away for a while and you get something warm and satisfying at the end. OK, it might not always be quite as simple as that ’but this recipe really does turn humble ingredients into a tasty economical meal with relatively little effort.
For 4–6 servings:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium–large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2–3 sticks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium–large carrot, grated
8 cups hot water
1 Tbsp vegetable stock powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup orzo
1/4–1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 cups lightly packed (75–100g) chopped spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the water, stock powder and oregano. Put the lentils in a sieve and rinse them thoroughly, then stir into the pan. Bring the soup to the boil, then simmer for 20–25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Add the red wine, orzo and parsley. Boil gently for about 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. Stir in the spinach and cook for a few minutes longer.
Season to taste with salt (if required) and pepper, then serve with crusty bread.
Photography: Lindsay Keats