Pumpkin, Red Lentil & Carrot Soup

One of my favourite things about winter is being able to cook more lovely nourishing soups. Pumpkin soup is a definite favourite in our house, so I’ve given it a bit of a protein boost with some red lentils, to make this soup a super healthy and hearty meal. Pumpkin is a wonderfully┬árich source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and immune enhancer. It also helps support healthy eyesight and gums. Red lentils are a highly nutritious legume and a fabulous source of iron, which is an important mineral needed to build red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body. Lentils are also high fibre, for good bowel health, and zinc, which helps strengthen the immune system to fight off infections, as well as being essential for male and female reproductive health. And not to forget all that lovely garlic that will help prevent colds and flu this winter, as well as helping lower your cholesterol levels. Make an extra big batch so you can freeze some for meals during the week. I love to stir a spoonful of either Greek yoghurt or pesto through the top of this tasty soup, and serve it with some crusty grainy toast drizzled in flaxseed.

 

Ingredients:

1/4 kent pumpkin

2 large carrots

1 celery stalk

3 cloves of garlic

Small handful of sliced leek

1/2 cup dried red lentils

2 cups water

Season with sea salt and pepper

Top with a spoonful of pesto or Greek yoghurt

 

Method:

In a large saucepan heat some olive oil and add pumpkin, and carrots and cook for around 4 minutes, then add in leek and garlic and celery and cook for a further few minutes.

Add 2 cups of boiling water and then add in lentils. Bring to the boil and then turn down to low heat. Season with sea salt and some pepper and leave to cook for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes and add extra water if needed.

Mix with a hand blender and then serve topped with either pesto or Greek yoghurt, along with some crusty wholegrain toast drizzled with flaxseed oil. Avocado toast is also lovely with soup.

 

 

Green Pea Shepard’s Pie

My little green pea shepard’s pies are one of my kids favourite dinners. They’re great because you can use up any vegies you have left in the fridge. I’ve also added a tin of organic lentils to my lamb and vegetable mix to give these pies an extra iron boost. Iron is extremely important for healthy immune function and strong healthy muscles, and is vital for transporting oxygen to every cell in our body. Green peas not only make this dish look more appealing to kids but they are a fabulous source of fibre, to promote good digestive health, and B complex vitamins and iron to help increase your energy levels.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of lamb mince

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tin organic lentils, drain well

Handful of broccoli florets, cut into small pieces

1 carrot, diced

Kernels from 1 whole cob of corn

1 tin organic tomatoes

4 large potatoes, peeled and washed

1 1/2 cups of frozen green peas

Some grated cheese for topping

 

Method:

Place diced potatoes and peas in a steamer and cook until tender.

In a large frying pan add a little olive oil, and add lamb mince and garlic, and cook for 4-5 minutes until starting to brown.

Add broccoli, carrots, corn kernels, and lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a tin of tomatoes and allow to simmer with lid on until tender. Cook for a further few minutes at the end with lid off to reduce fluid.

Place cooked potatoes and peas in a food processor and blend until a smooth consistency.

Add lamb mixture evenly into 4 ramekin dishes, top with pea mash and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the griller to melt cheese and then serve.