This simple, comforting soup is EXACTLY what I want throughout the months of January and February when spring seems so far away and the rain seems like it may never end (will it ever end?). What I love most is the resemblance to a “Christmas dinner leftover” soup, although there are rarely leftovers in our house so this tends to be made from scratch. It’s nutritious but comforting and filling and warm and comforting. Ok, so it seems I need a lot of comforting in the winter!
Quantities are very loose so use whatever you have, however the cabbage is vital for that all-important “Christmas leftovers” flavour. By all means use brussels sprouts for authenticity if you have some and if you DO happen to have leftovers from a roast dinner you could use some leftover potatoes instead of the lentils. Chicken stock (or Turkey, obviously!) is definitely the way to go here. I still think Knorr “stockpots” have eclipsed sliced bread as an invention but if you have your own homemade stock I very much envy you and you should use it.
1 large leek, sliced
Half a green cabage or 1 small pack brussels sprouts
1 small swede, cubed
4 large carrots, sliced
150g (ish) red lentils or a few leftover cooked potatoes
Put some olive oil in a pan and gently fry the leeks until softened. Add the thinly sliced cabbage/sprouts and continue to fry until very slightly caramelised; this gives a lovely sweet flavour.
At this point you could tip the mixture into a slow cooker, add everything else and leave it on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours (that’s what I did as I was going out).
Alternatively, put everything else into the pan and simmer until the vegetables & lentils are cooked through (probably 15 to 20 minutes depending on size).
Blitz in the pan with a hand blender then serve with some crusty wholemeal bread and butter and feel warm and happy and satisfied!