I have been trying, over the last few weeks, to increase my intake of pulses and vegetables. This has meant lots of lunchtime salads with quinoa or bulgar wheat, evening meals comprising soups with a tomato, rather than roux, base, and chick peas in everything. Mostly because if there’s one thing I love it’s chick peas!
This particular recipe has become something of a favourite. It’s easy to adapt to cut out any fats, and can be made more luxurious with the addition of a dollop of creme frache or cream cheese. It’s delicious served with a crusty loaf, tasty with flatbreads or perfectly filling on its own. And it’s quick and easy to prepare. Here’s my basic recipe (although it often changes slightly to accomodate whatever needs using up in the fridge…).
1 onion, diced
A knob of butter, slurp of oil or tbsp of water (depending on your post-Christmas dietary requirements…)
Dried mixed herbs
2 cloves garlic
About 150g red lentils
1 pint veg stock
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
Creme fraiche/yoghurt/cream cheese/coriander to garnish (optional)
Sweat the onions in the fat or water until softening, Add the garlic, herbs and lentils, and allow to sweat another 5 minutes, stirring to avoid burning on the base.
Add the veg stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for approx 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend. Add the chick peas and return to the heat to warm through.
Serve with a dollop of your choice of garnish. You can also add chopped coriander if you have some lying around… But Dapper doesn’t like coriander, so we don’t!
Ever since an experimental afternoon in the kitchen uncovered the simple delights of unlevened flatbread, I have been churning these babies out to go with anything from soup to saag. I have no recipe and no idea about measurements – I spoon some flour into a bowl (plain, spelt, wholemeal – whatever I’ve got in excess), add a drizzle of olive oil and then cold water, mixing with a knife until it comes together. I then roll it out thinly and cook in a very hot, dry skillet. My first is almost inevitably too thick, but still perfectly edible, and the following few are crisp, warm and satisfying. I reccomend giving it a go!