Quick and easy winter warming Cavolo Nero and lentil soup

After a year of living in the tropics I am delighted to be back in the UK! Although this Autumn is being particularly beautiful, the easy access to amazing seasonal veg is what has me most excited! 

 Cavolo nero is an Italian cabbage. Just like its cousin kale, it is jam packed with vitamins and minerals with a slightly denser texture and bitter taste. It is great in soups and stews, or lightly sauted with olive oil and shallots. 

Cavolo nero is an Italian cabbage. Just like its cousin kale, it is jam packed with vitamins and minerals with a slightly denser texture and bitter taste. It is great in soups and stews, or lightly sauted with olive oil and shallots. 

 

As much as I love the heat, seasonal changes are something to cherish. The summer can bring excitement and a feeling of freedom, with such long light filled days to fill there is a temptation to stay out long hours as we make the most of them. Autumn and winter give us the opportunity to stay in and practice some self-care, reflecting on the year that has gone by and what lies ahead.

Being indoors a little more might mean that you get more time to prepare and enjoy your food, with warming soups and stews replacing quickly thrown together salads. This doesn't mean that food needs to get fancy however! I wanted to share with you a quick and easy winter soup I enjoy making with very minimal preparation time. You can start it once you get in from work, then it just needs a little time to cook, leaving you the opportunity to get your evening tasks done. I have only included 3 ingredients, which although is a few less veg I normally like to have in my evening meal, it was the reality of my monday night fridge! Feel free to add additional spices and veggies to whats available and in season.

Cavolo Nero and lentil soup

  • 1 cup of puy lentils
  • Cavolo nero
  • 1 x banana shallot
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 2 x cup of vegetable or home made chicken stock
  • Lemon, Tamari sauce, chilli or sprouts to season and flavour
  1. Rinse the lentils and pick out any fragments.
  2. Add a big glug of olive oil to a warm pan, and throw in the diced garlic and shallot. 
  3. After a few minutes add in the lentils and stock, stir, season and cover allowing to bubble gently.
  4. After 20 minutes or so, add the chopped cavolo nero, and any other veg you might like to add.
  5. Cover again and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the lentil are cooked. Check the seasoning and feel free to add any additional flavours such as a squeeze of lemon or finely chopped chilli. I couldn't resist the beautiful colours of these China Rosa and Rambo radish sprouts!
 Add the chopped shallot and garlic to the olive oil on a medium heat.

Add the chopped shallot and garlic to the olive oil on a medium heat.

 Add the cavolo nero to the lentils and cover for a further 10 minutes

Add the cavolo nero to the lentils and cover for a further 10 minutes

 Flavour with some lemon peel

Flavour with some lemon peel

Lentils are a great source of protein and fibre, so this on its own should have you feeling full. To make it a little more nutritiously nourished, add in 2-3 more winter vegetables such as carrots, turnips and spinach, or you could always cook these separately and have on the side, making it a nutrient packed meal!

 Add sprouted seeds or pulses for extra nutrition and wow factor! 

Add sprouted seeds or pulses for extra nutrition and wow factor! 

Let me know what you think and feel free to reach out with any questions! Happy nourishing : )

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