Winter arrived with ferocity on Wednesday night. In the space of a day the snowfall came up to my knees outside of our house. It took Pia an hour to dig here way in to the house when she got back from work. And I was forced to spend the night in a hotel in Stockholm as all commuter traffic was suspended. Even in Sweden, when it hits that hard, they are unprepared.
On Thursday night, when I finally made it home, I had no desire to leave the house again. I wanted to curl up with the family, light candles and relax. But there wasn’t much in the store-cupboard. We had plenty of delicious, slow-grown, crunchy Swedish root vegetables, but no meat or fish. The thought of digging out the car and driving to the supermarket left me cold.
So it was decided: it would be vegetarian Thursday. I’m not so creative with vegetarian food; it’s not really my thing. But I decided (not for the first time this year) that some kind of soup was probably a good idea.
I decided on a sweet, spicy and sour lentil and root veg soup (something for everyone). The bonus: it was probably the quickest and cheapest dinner I have made in a long time. And one of the most delicious; especially when the knee-deep snow glistens and the candles flicker. We followed dinner with a film and a glass or two of red: the perfect early start to a winter weekend.
Quick and Easy Lentil and Vegetable Soup
- 2 dl red lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 parsnip, sliced
- 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
- 1 dried red chili, crushed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tin crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ litres vegetable stock
Fry the lentils and vegetables in olive oil for a few minutes
Add the coriander and chili and stir
Pour in the lemon, tomatoes and stock
Stir, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes
Whizz up the soup with a hand blender until it is thick and smooth
Serve with warm, crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream