Tag Archives: vegan Christmas

Scottish Lentil Soup

Lentil soup makes me think of Christmas as we would almost always have this as a starter on Christmas day. But, it’s a staple that lasts all year round… Lentil soup is for life, not just for Christmas… or winter!

My dad’s mum makes thee best lentil soup in the whole wide world. Nothing comes close. And she actually turned 90 today! (Love you gran!) Second best to my gran’s legendary lentil soup is my mum’s, a very close second. I’ve tasted many wonderful lentil soups in my time and theirs are by far and away the top of the lentil soup league.

Mine isn’t bad I have to say, but it’s only based on theirs & there’s something about mums and grans… they just have the magic touch!

Lentil soup is my go-to whenever I’m feeling poorly, it’s the perfect ratios of flavour and comfort with a health boost to boot… up the garlic and onion if you’re feeling under the weather and whack in a chunk of fresh ginger or even a kick of fresh chili to up the immunity boosting factor, or simply have as is, and you’ll be fighting fit in no time.

Definitely one of my all time most favourite ever dishes, I come back to this again and again, because it’s just.too.good! It’s quick and easy to make and you can prepare a big batch on a Sunday to last a couple of day’s worth of lunches or freeze in tubs for later use. See Notes section below for more ideas and suggestions.

The trick to the success of this soup is the texture – i.e. not blended till it becomes a baby food-esque puree like some places serve it (which still tastes delicious, don’t get me wrong) but the texture is the key to this soup being so intriguingly moreish, therefore roughly chopping, grating and mashing will serve this soup, and you, well – leave the blender in the cupboard!

I wasn’t even going to share a recipe for this as it seems so obvious to me but then I thought it fits neatly in with my Scottish food celebration I’ve got going… plus the fact that there are people in this world who have never had the privilege of tasting a Lentil soup in its simple but delicious glory… plus we can safely say it’s up there with my most favourite things to eat, along with macaroni cheese and avocado toast!

I introduce to you, the best lentil soup in the world (well, 3rd place…!)

Ingredients

  • 50 g dried ready to cook red lentils
  • 3 medium carrots or 2 large – half chopped and half grated
  • 4 small white potatoes or 3 medium – half chopped in various sizes / half grated
  • 1 small or 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 160 ml soya milk
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • A little salt & pepper

Method

  1. Rinse lentils in a sieve.
  2. Fry onions in a little oil before adding the other ingredients OR Place all ingredients in a pan and simmer for 30-40 mins.
  3. Allow to cool a little, then mash roughly with a potato masher for a thicker texture.

Notes

*Soya milk quantity can be reduced and just use water (with a splash of milk stirred in at the end).

*OPTIONAL:

-Add spices for a spiced lentil soup

-To make TARKA DHALL SOUP add cumin, garam massala, ginger, smoked paprika, curry powder, chili/ cayenne pepper and extra garlic.

-Add coconut milk for a creamy taste and flavour

*I often serve mine with a warmed tattie scone (potato bread) for dipping, as pictured, but plain rice, cous cous, quinoa or even pasta is nice stirred in or served on the side.

*For an extra savoury flavour stir in 1/2 tsp marmite/vegemite while cooking and / or 1/2 tsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.

*Top with crispy fried mushrooms for a delicious chewy finish

*Also good for for babies aged 10+ months (..feel free to liquidise to a silky consistency!)

 

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Seitan roast

A perfect roast for Christmas, New Year, Thanksgiving or any other special occassion meal where you want to enjoy a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings… and all your loved ones! This roast will impress even the most devout of carnists. Serve with roast potatoes (marmite optional!) maple glazed parsnips, garlicy green beans, sautéed brussel sprouts with ‘bacon’, veggie haggis ‘stuffing’ balls and my creamy parsley sauce (recipes coming soon)… ah heaven on a plate… and Christmas on a plate!

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Setan roast pictured served with herby roast potatoes, sautéed brussel sprouts with bacon & sausage bits, steamed spring greens and a red wine gravy. 

It’s flavoursome, smoky and ‘meaty’ and ideal served up with all the sides that are traditionally served with traditional roasts. For vegetarians and vegans it makes a great and welcome alternative to a nut roast. I mean I love a nut roast as much as the next vegan but change can be a good thing!

It’s also extremely versatile. You can roll this dough out with a rolling pin and fill with your favourite ingredients (last Christmas I made a Seitan Wellington, filled with veggie haggis, chestnut purée and porcini mushrooms then rolled in puff pastry – ah delicious!) or leave out the pastry casing but still serve it up as a ‘stuffed’ roast; basically it’s delicious either way and you can’t really go wrong with it! (More ideas and recipe suggestions below)

So read on for what you’ll need and go experiment and enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups vital wheat gluten 250 g
1/2 cup chickpea / gram flour 50 g
1/2 cup nutritional yeast 30 g
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried basil or other Italian herbs
1 tbsp onion powder & 1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon ketchup or bbq sauce
2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce 125 mL (reduce this amount if prefer a less salty flavour)
1 1/2 cups hot water 375 mL
1 tbsp liquid smoke

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