On January 1st I was totally excited by green smoothies and salads stacked neatly in mason jars (hello last weeks post!). By January 2nd I realised that it was still winter and as much I love salads and smoothies, they're damn cold! This soup is all over warming you up over winter and is packed with goodness. The lentils are packing a punch of protein, the celery is owning it on the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory front and carrots are chock full of vitamin a, which is key for good vision (read: helps you see in the dark, right...?)
This soup can pretty much be your saviour and coupled with a hot water bottle, it might just be better than a lemsip. Not to mention It's super easy to throw together, cheap as chips and a natural healer if you're coming down with a cold. I swear by it.
I'm not gonna lie, the Garlic Parmesan toasts aren't strictly good for you if you're on a January diet. HOWEVER, they are great way to bring a smile to your face and balance to your life. Winter can be hard - have a toast.
For Lentil Soup + Garlic Parmesan Toasts (serves 4-6):
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
4 stalks of celery
350g red lentils
1500ml chicken stock
1 tbsp cumin
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme (or 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme)
Salt and pepper
For the Toasts:
2 slices of crusty bread per person
small handful fresh parsley
50g unsalted butter
Begin by toasting the garlic in a large, dry saucepan. Toast on both sides for 8-10 minutes until soft and charred.
Whilst your garlic is toasting, peel and chop your carrots and onion and chop up the celery too.
Once the garlic is charred and soft, remove from the pan and set aside. Then add in a splash of vegetable oil and the chopped vegetables. Saute for 5-10 minutes until soft. Then peel the garlic and add it in with the vegetables, along with the lentils, cumin. Mix that puppy up.
Add in your chicken stock.
Add in the bay leaf and thyme. I've used chopped frozen thyme, but you can use fresh. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
While your simmering whack the oven on to 190c. Finely chop your garlic and parsley and mix with softened butter.
Slice up your desired amount of bread.
Spread a liberal amount of butter on each slice and grate over a little Parmesan on each. Pop in the oven for 10-12 minutes until crispy and delicious.
Then get ready to serve up!
Serve up steaming bowls with a pair of crunchy garlic and Parmesan toasts.
Dip and dunk and slurp and enjoy a cosier January!
Pop a hot water bottle under your feet for super cosy points.