Soup is one of the best meals to make in bulk, because it’s quick to throw together, easy to store and (up to a point) tends to get more flavourful with time in the fridge. It’s also a great meal for those chasing down their five-a-day, because you can bundle in loads of veg and blend it up. Take this healthy red pepper and lentil soup as an example. You can knock up a batch of it in under an hour at the weekend and you’ll have four great lunches for the working week. Or, if you prefer bulkier serving sizes, two absolutely massive lunches.
This red pepper soup recipe comes from It’s Pepper Time, a campaign designed to get people in the UK eating more peppers. You’ll find more pepper-filled recipes on the website.
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Ingredients (Serves Four)
3 red bell peppers, deseeded and finely diced
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 red chilli, deseeded and diced
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
5 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
100g split red lentils
500ml vegetable stock
80g mixed nuts, roughly chopped
½tbsp soya spread
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers and carrot and cook for ten minutes until the vegetables have softened.
2. Stir in the chilli, ¾ of the rosemary and thyme, lentils, stock and 200ml water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
4. Tip the nuts onto an ovenproof tray and roast in the oven for eight to ten minutes, until they turn a light golden colour.
5. Remove the nuts from the oven and stir in the soya spread and remaining herbs. Season well and return to the oven for two to four minutes until golden.
6. Blend the soup to create a smooth texture. Divide into four portions, scatter over the nuts and serve.