I’ve been making this soup often. I feel like I am rallying the troops as I take all the veggies out of the fridge to start cooking. Napa cabbage is a new addition I have made and turns out this veggie is high in vitamin C – a good winter soup veggie. I can eat this soup most days in winter and make a batch about once a week. It is good for lunch or dinner and I feel good knowing I am getting my veggie requirements.
I am going to make this soup for a friend this weekend. It ticks so many boxes: veggies (including 2 cruciferous veggies), minerals from homemade chicken stock/bone broth, and protein from the lentils. Enjoy the last stage of winter – prime soup-eating season. I am proud to say I created this soup. I am really happy with it and I hope others give it a go. There is no nicer way to eat healthfully in winter than with a delicious veggie-filled soup.
3 tbs pure olive oil
2-3 cups chopped napa cabbage/Chinese cabbage
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups chopped parsley
½ fennel bulb, fine chop
6 large white mushrooms, chopped
1 medium cauliflower, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2-4 tsp pepper (2 tsp to start, then adjust to taste)
2-3 tsp salt (start with 2 tsp, then adjust to taste)
2 tbs cumin
1 tbs coriander
1 tsp curry powder
½ can full fat coconut milk
1.5 cups well-rinsed red lentils (lentils can have a chalky flavour if they are not rinsed. Do not skip this step.)
8-10 cups homemade* chicken broth, made with the carcass of a Pemberton-raised roast chicken (use 10 cups for a thinner soup)
Sauté all veggies including parsley. The process takes a while. You want a nicely caramelised batch of veggies. Do not continue until the veggies are at a point where you would enjoy eating them as a cooked side dish.
Add spices and 2 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Add chicken stock, lentils and coconut milk.
Bring to boil, then simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Taste the soup. Adjust salt and pepper.
When you are satisfied with spicing, blend the soup in batches in a high-powered blender.
*Homemade stock makes all the difference. See my previous soup posts on tracedelements.com for recipe for homemade chicken stock. I store the stock in clear 3-cup Ziploc twist-lid containers. I like these as you can see what is inside and, unlike most other storage containers for the freezer, the lids on these ones don’t fall off! (this is not a paid endorsement but I would be interested in this kind of thing!!)
Here is a photo of what my pot looks like with soup stock simmering. My chicken carcass is in there along with all my veggie ends and a quarter cup of peppercorns. This is a good one to two week supply of stock. I often use stock to reheat leftovers on the stove. It heats everything more evenly and adds flavour!