Monday, 10 November 2014

Spinach & Lentil Soup

I have been off my food.

Yes I know. Strange.

I had a run of irritating infections, general 'under-the-weatherness', a couple of weird migraine type things - and then a complete stinker of a cold that lasted for about 10 days and I'm only just really feeling better. It's been very irksome and makes me feel like I may not be quite as invincible as I thought. I wonder if it's one of those 'getting a little bit older' things - like the moment you hit 40 you get invited for a health check up thing, get lectured about all the things you know - make sure you get enough exercise, eat healthily, drink very very sensibly... They might as well send you a letter saying you're basically past it and it's all down hill from here.

Generally, I refuse to accept this - that I can ever get ill and stop working quite as efficiently as I was. But then something like this happens - and I do begin to wonder. Of course, as is my normal course of action when any kind of adversity strikes, I assumed the usual female standpoint of arch-soldiering on and carried on regardless, but this time, twice, I ended up in bed, and the whole thing culminated in nearly a week of just not wanting to eat much. Very, very odd.

Anyway, the end of this run of 'struggling on' (as we women tend to do) coincided with a period of the dog also appearing to be quite off colour. Nothing specific, but for a springer spaniel to not want to go for a walk 3 days running, well, reader, I was concerned.

Fortunately, in the end, all was well with the dog, and as I started to feel stronger, so he decided it was time to hit the fields. On a day of the most foul and horrendous weather possible.

The only thing that kept me going as I sploshed along was this soup. I know I've put spinach soup recipes up here before, but this is a definite improvement to the standard, involving lentils. It's perfect for miserable Autumnal days - and perhaps if you've been feeling off colour too, this might tempt you in the way it tempted me.

Spinach & Lentil Soup

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, quite thinly sliced
1 small lump of fresh ginger (about the size of your thumb top), peeled and sliced
1.2 litres of hot chicken stock (I made this up with 2 chicken stock pots which I've been pretty much converted to since I won some a couple of years ago)
1 medium hot chilli
100g red lentils
500g baby spinach

Heat the oil in a large pan.

Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for a few minutes till softening.

Pour in the stock, split the chilli - remove the seeds if you think it will be too spicy - and chuck that in, along with the red lentils.

Bring it all up to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes till the lentils are soft, then add the spinach and cook for a further 4-5 minutes till its all wilted down, then blitz to make an amazingly green and spicy soup.


  1. maybe you're pregnant... love the green of this soup. I could do with a massive bowl!

    1. no no NO!!!!! Don't even suggest such a thing, Dom :-(

  2. 40? I can't even remember being 40. Then again, I can't remember much these days. That's a very fine looking soup and I could definitely do with something to get me through the dismal wet days of autumn. Today I've taken no exercise, eaten unhealthily and I'm thinking of having a few non-sensible drinks and so I feel great. Tomorrow I may need your soup.

  3. It's good, Phil, believe me! Mind you, I'm starting to think anything with lentils is a good thing - ultimately soothing.


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