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So that soup train i was talking about in my last post? Well, i’m certainly enjoying the ride and if there were to be a proverbial engine, well then, it would most certainly be this stunner.

This is one hearty soup. I could just be me (and may well be) but the flavours are absolutely out-of-this-world addictive. Its nuanced in profile, with just the right amount of licks coming from the fennel seeds and fresh parsley. The chilli and paprika add a soft, warming glow to whole affair, comfortingly circling around the star of the show- the pesto. Fresh but earthy, creamy but not too rich. This is truly a luxurious soup, perfect for sharing with a lover after a bracing walk in the December sun (which continues to be utterly breathtaking), or equally perfect for sharing with yourself, in your pyjamas, listening to this heartbreakingly beautiful documentary about Jeff Buckley (for example).

med soup

The pesto is super easy to make and nut free which is aces for all you no-can-do-nuts out there (and also much cheaper than trying to find pine nuts that don’t cost a bazillion pounds). It keeps good for about a week but really, it lasted about 4 days when left with this pesto- eyed goblin.

(Serves about 4)

  • 1 Red Onion, diced
  • 3 stalks Celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Chilli, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp ground Peppercorns
  • 1 Carrot, diced
  • 1/2 large Courgette, sliced and halved
  • 1 scant cup Puy Lentils (soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes)
  • 1 handful fresh Parsley
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 250ml Passata
  • 1 litre Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 tbsp Pesto (+ extra for serving)
  1. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onions and celery and cook on medium for 5 mins
  2. Add the garlic, chilli and fennel seeds, cooking for 3 minutes
  3. Add the carrots and courgettes and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and cook at a simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Serves with an extra teaspoon of pesto on top

pesto

Nut Free, Vegan Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh Basil
  • 1/2 cup toasted Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 small cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt and Pepper
  1. Pop the basil, garlic and seeds in a blender and pulse until reduced
  2. Add the lemon, yeast and seasoning and blitz for 30 seconds (you’ll probs have to scrape the sides down a few times)
  3. Add the oil in stages until you have your desired consistency (I used about a 1/3 cup in the end)
  4. Pop into a clean jar and cover with extra oil to preserve.
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