Soups are a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in the bottom of your fridge.You can adapt this recipe to suit any of the veggie leftovers you find  - adding plenty of broccoli to make sure your children get in their greens. Soups are a brilliant way to hide any veg they don’t like. The addition of lentils makes this a really hearty soup that’s perfect for supper or a weekend lunch.  You can also freeze it into batches to keep for a later date.

Once you’re confident with your child using a child’s chopping knife, you can teach them how to chop all the different vegetables.  You can also get them stirring as you add everything into the pot.  Younger children should stay away from the blending of the soup at the end – as hand blenders can be dangerous – this is a teenage or adult job, especially as you’re handling hot soup. But you can then get your younger helpers back into the kitchen to help you stir in some yoghurt or coconut milk at the end and watch it change colour!

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time:  15 minutes.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion

1 stalk celery

3 garlic cloves

1 carrot – chopped

1 head broccoli – chopped, including stalk

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

700ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup split red lentils

Salt and pepper

Bit of natural yoghurt, coconut milk or quark to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sautee the onion, celery and garlic. After a few minutes, add the carrot and broccoli and stir for 2 minutes. Add the herbs and quickly stir for about a minute. Then add the chicken stock, before pouring in the red lentils. The liquid should just cover the ingredients. Simmer gently for about 12 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are cooked. 
  2. You could also use pre-cooked lentils, and add in the last few minutes of cooking to heat through. 
  3. Blitz your soup with a hand blender. Then check seasoning and add as needed. Stir in a bit of natural yoghurt, coconut milk or quark to serve.



With thanks to Catherine Jeans - The Family Nutrition Expert - for the recipe.
 Visit www.thefamilynutritionexpert.com or www.facebook.com/familynutritionexpert for more recipes and top tips. 

Photo by BonAppetit