When it’s grim and freezing outside, few of us are in the mood for salads and I find myself turning to stodgy comfort food a little too often. However, there is a super solution: soup! (Sorry.)
This is a brilliantly easy winter soup that’s warming and nourishing. With a little kick from the spices and chilli it really feels like it’s doing your immune system some good. And at only 250 calories per portion this is diet food that tastes like comfort food.
Spicy Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup
- 250g sweet potato (1 large one), peeled and diced
- 200g red lentils, rinsed
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3cm ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp chilli powder (or less if you prefer it less spicy)
- 500 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- Plain yoghurt
- Chopped coriander leaves
Heat the oil in a deep pan with a lid and throw in the cloves, mustard seeds and onion, fry gently until the onion is soft and starting to turn golden.
Add the garlic and ginger, fry for about 2 minutes, before adding the rest of the spices and the chilli powder, stir well and let the spices cook for a minute.
Add the sweet potatoes, the stock and the lentils (plus more water if necessary, the sweet potatoes should be covered), pop the lid on and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if it needs it.
I find by this point you can just crush the sweet potato into a mush with a masher and you have a rustic soup. But if you prefer it on the smoother side you can then whizz it up in a blender.
Serve with a spoonful of plain yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander leaves.