At the start of every university term all sorts of bugs and diseases spread round campus. All the students come in from all over the world with their different germs, which they give to each other and the academic staff, who then pass them on to the admin staff. It’s now three weeks in to term and all of the support staff in my department are either just recovering or just coming down with something. In honour of everyone who works in a university, college, or school, and is feeling grotty right now, here is my get-well-soon soup. The lentils will give you enough protein to make all of those extra white blood cells you’ll need to fight the infection, and the vitamins from the veggies will boost your immune system so you can beat anything. It’s simple enough to make when you’re feeling at your absolute worst. On top of that, it’s both warm and comforting AND fresh and zingy all at the same time. I’ve used a mix of lentils for a varied texture, you could use just split peas to make it chunkier or just red lentil to be smoother. Here it is:
Recipe (serves four):
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 large onion, chopped as chunky or as fine as you like
- 1 stick of celery, also chopped as chunky or as fine as you like
- 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs
- 100g yellow split peas or chana dal
- 200g split red lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- A handful of chopped parsley
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat. Sweat the onion and celery in the oil, covered, for about 10-15 minutes without colouring.
Add the herbs, split peas, lentils, stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil then simmer for 45 minutes, until the split peas are cooked through but still retain a little bit of bite.
Add the parsley and season to taste.
Curl up in your duvet and eat the soup out of the biggest mug you can find. Get well soon!