Here at the Meadow Farm Bakehouse Blog, we’ve been bringing you our favourite cake recipes, along with some top tips from our wonderful bakers (click here if you’ve missed any!). This week, with the weather firmly entering Autumn, and the nation on a cake overload thanks to The Great British Bake Off, we thought we’d mix it up a bit and bring you a little warmth and comfort instead – soup!

The recipe I want to share with you today is a personal favourite – Red Lentil, Lemon and Thyme. Scroll on down to check it out!

soup

Soup is our newest addition to the menu, and one that we are really excited to bring to you. It was always one of our best sellers at the tearoom, especially when the weather starts to turn cold, and it’s perfect for us to bring to you on our delivery service.

Versatility at it’s finest

One of our favourite things about soup is it’s sheer versatility. Got an abundance of ingredients from the allotment? Soup is the answer. Something going out of date? Pop it in the soup. Want to get the kids to eat more veg? Blend it down in the soup, they’ll never know. Vegan, gluten-free, or really really hate peas? With just a few tweaks, soup can be made suitable for any dietary choices and requirements.

And that’s just the ingredients you use. Then you can choose the consistency and texture – chunky or smooth, runny or thick enough to stand a spoon in – the possibilities are endless!

Too Many Decisions!

I hear you. I’ve over complicated soup. Sorry.

Luckily, Meadow Farm Bakehouse is on hand to help out! With free delivery to all of Hayling Island, and Click and Collect options for those further afield, the only decision you need to make is what flavour to order! (And whether you want a brown roll, white roll, or a cheese scone.)

Recipe Time

Red Lentil, Lemon and Thyme is my all-year-round, go-to soup. The red lentils make it hearty and comforting, and absolutely packed with protein, while the lemon and thyme really lift the soup so it really fits the mood in all temperatures. Plus, it’s quick and easy, as well as vegan and gluten free!

This recipe serves approx 6 people, and takes about 40 mins to cook.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g dried red lentils, washed
  • 600ml veg stock
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently until soft but not brown, approx 4 mins.
  • Stir in the lentils to coat completely in the oil.
  • Add the stock, and bring to the boil.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1.5 tbsp thyme.
  • Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins, or until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
  • Add the remaining thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the lemon juice a little at a time, to taste.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • If you need this soup to be gluten-free or vegan, remember to check your stock. Manufacturers love to slip in gluten or milk powder into some of the most innocent everyday ingredients. (At the time of writing, both Knorr vegetable stock pots and cubes are gluten-free and vegan.)
  • Sometimes you can get a white foam appear while simmering. This is released from the lentils as they are cooking, and is perfectly normal, but you can skim it off the top.
  • You can always use tinned lentils, although these are rarely red lentils they would still be a good substitute, but you’d need to reduce the amount of liquid you put in the soup.
  • No fresh ingredients? Tinned lentils would make a good substitute, but you’d need to reduce the amount of liquid you put in the soup. Dried thyme works too, just add all of it to the soup with the tinned tomatoes rather than reserving some. Lemon juice concentrate isn’t my personal favourite, but if you wanted to use it then the lemony flavour would still come through in the dish.
  • This soup is naturally a thin broth with the lentils adding the bulk of the texture, however if you wanted to blend it to a smooth puree, then the lentils would give it a lovely thick creaminess. Just add more water as necessary while blending to get it to your desired consistency.

AND THAT’S all there is to it!

Soup for everyone!

We’d love to hear your thoughts, successes or failures! Have we inspired you to try something different? What is your go-to soup? Let us know in the comments below!

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