Here’s another recipe from the Quick & Simple Series. I’ve been completely reliant upon the vegetarian husband to cook for me day in day out ever since we got together, so I’m quite out of practice in the kitchen. Having such a brilliant personal chef hasn’t helped me with either my cooking techniques or confidence. I’ll have to fend for myself now that he’s going to be away on business for long stretches.
Over the next few months, I’ll be building up a repertoire of quick and simple dishes to make after work. My goal is to cook from scratch using as many fresh ingredients as possible, but I don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen!
I made this a couple of days ago for our lunch, as a practice run, and was relieved that it turned out so well. We’re great believers in cooking with anything that needs using up (this is known as ‘top shelf’ food, which is any older ingredients that sit on the top shelf of the fridge, separated from fresher, more recently bought items). For soups, ‘top shelf’ food is perfect!
Ingredients: (you can use anything on your top shelf!)
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
- ¼ bag of spinach
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- tin of cannellini beans, drained
- handful of red lentils
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil to drizzle
What to do next: (prep takes 5 mins, cooking takes 20 mins)
Fill saucepan with two or three inches of water and place on high heat. Prepare the vegetables and add to hot water, leaving the spinach until the very last minute. The beans and lentils give the soup a lovely thick texture. Leave soup to simmer away with the lid not completely closed over the saucepan for about 20 minutes.
Add the spinach, give it a stir and turn off the heat, as it will continue to cook while the soup is being served. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. It’s lovely with a crusty bread roll (somehow white is nicer than anything else when it comes to vegetable soup!). And of course I made enough for leftovers the next day…
This and soup in general will become firm favourites within the Quick & Simple Series. I like chunky rather than blended soups, as chunky soups seem more substantial.
If you’re looking for more recipes, I’ve trawled through the Lay The Table archive and found eight that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, which I’ve put together in 8 Quick & Simple Recipes From The Archive.
I hope you enjoy making this, and I’d love to hear about your quick & simple recipes!