Soup for the soul
Food writer, cook, food stylist and presenter Jo Pratt knows a thing or two about creating tasty dishes. She grew up not far from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and recently helped launch The Gorgeous Kitchen, a restaurant serving global cuisine made with British-grown produce at Heathrow’s Terminal 2.
To warm you up this winter, we’ve picked out a delicious recipe from her latest book, The Flexible Vegetarian.
Carrot, coconut and cardamom soup
This wonderful soup is packed with aromatic spicy flavour and is perfect for separating into portions for your freezer. You’ll be glad of it when all you want is an instant, comforting, healthy lunch.
Time taken 40 minutes / Serves 6
10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
750g/1 lb 10 oz carrots, washed and coarsely grated
1 stick celery, finely sliced
15g/½ oz piece ginger, peeled and grated
125g/4½ oz split red lentils
2 x 400ml/14 fl oz tins coconut milk
700ml/1¼ pints/2¾ cups hot vegetable stock
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves,
coconut flakes, lightly toasted, to serve
Split open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar or simply with the flat of a large knife.
Heat a large saucepan and then add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and chilli flakes. Dry fry for a minute or so until they release their aroma.
Add the oil to the pan, stir in the carrots, celery and ginger. Stir around for a couple of minutes, then add the lentils, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, covered with a lid, until the lentils are tender.
Blitz the soup until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and scatter with a few coriander leaves, a twist of pepper and a pile of toasted coconut flakes.