Happy Global Pulse Day!
Nearly all the recipes that we cook in our school workshops are vegetarian and dishes including pulses such as our falafels, vegetable dhansak and bean chilli are some of the favourites with the children. This soup uses red lentils but with the addition of sweet potatoes, tomatoes and spinach, it is a great one pot meal. It was my go to dish when my youngest was a baby. I would give it to him as a thick puree which he loved and then add some more stock and seasoning to make a more liquid soup for the rest of the family.
Ingredients: 1 medium onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 200g of red lentils, 1 large sweet potato (about 400g), a tin of chopped tomatoes, 900ml of vegetable stock (use unsalted stock or water if feeding babies and young children), 200g of spinach
1. Chop the onion and fry over a low heat in a large saucepan until soft.
2. Peel the sweet potato and chop into small cubes about 1cm square. Add to the onions with the lentils. Cook on a low heat for another minute before adding the can of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil covered with a lid and then allow to simmer gently for about 20 to 30 minutes until the lentils and sweet potato are soft. Stir every few minutes to check that the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3. In the meantime wash the spinach. If you are not using baby leaf spinach, remove any coarse stems and lightly chop. Once the lentils and sweet potato are cooked, add the spinach to the pan, stirring gently into the mixture. Turn off the heat, allowing the spinach to wilt and lightly cook in the heat of the soup.
4. Liquidise the soup using a hand blender. Before serving, check for seasoning adding freshly ground black pepper and salt if needed. Add more stock or water if you prefer a thinner soup. You can also stir in a teaspoon of harissa or chilli flakes if you want to spice it up.