Keeping my kitchen ticking over while looking after a not-so tiny baby is certainly interesting. I’ve realised I need to cook more things that can last a couple of days.
Double batches of soup and bread have proved the most successful – filling, delicious and fairly quick to make.
I’ve taken to filling my shopping trolley with as many different veg as possible and then seeing what I can do with them when the time comes for a pan of soup or a meal. Recent soup varieties have included potato, asparagus & kale, courgette & asparagus and this one, carrot, lentil, lemon & coriander.
It is a good, hearty soup; rich in flavour and consistency and is wonderful served with fresh bread, warm from the oven.
I’ve decided to also try to have something in a tin to eat for a mid morning or afternoon snack… cookies and cake have been the favourite so far. The other day I made a gorgeous soft loaf of banana, apricot and walnut. A small piece has helped give us a nice little energy boost with a cup or tea or coffee.
So here are the recipes. The soup could be spiced up if you like with a pinch of chilli flakes. The apricots in the loaf could be substituted for other soft fruits such as peaches or pears for example.
Carrot, Lentil, Lemon & Coriander Soup
Preparation/cooking time 30-40 mins
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp cumin seeds
500g carrots, sliced
1 cup red lentils
1 large sprig fresh coriander, chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
200ml soya milk plus additional 100ml water if required (adjust to reach desired thickness of soup)
1. Fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan until soft.
2. Add the cumin seeds and stir with a wooden spoon. Fry for a minute or two before adding the carrots, lentils, coriander and stock.
3. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer and cover for 30 mins or longer if you want the flavours to develop more. Stir occasionally to ensure the soup doesn’t stick to the bottom.
4. Blend with a hand blender if you like a smooth soup. Stir in the soya milk and additional water until it reaches a thickness you like.
5. Add cracked black pepper to taste and serve. Great for freezing too.
Banana, Apricot and Walnut Loaf
Makes around 8 slices
Preparation/cooking time 1 hour approximately
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
3 ripe apricots, stones removed and chopped
60g/2oz vegan margarine
100g/3oz soft brown sugar
250g/9oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
handful of chopped walnuts
5 tbsp soya milk
1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
2. In a mixing bowl, mash together the banana and apricot. Add in the marg, creaming it in with a wooden spoon.
3. Add sugar and sieve in flour and baking powder.
4. Mix in vanilla essence, nuts and soya milk, stirring everything together thoroughly with a spoon.
5. Grease a bread tin and pour in loaf mix.
6. Bake for 50-60 mins until loaf is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
7. Serve on its own or with a spoon of soya yoghurt and berries.