Life’s a feast: Lockdown lemony lentil soup


The kitchen has always been the heart of the home. However, as lockdown continues, and many of us heading to the supermarket with little regularity, it can sometimes feel like the war room. Besides the three meals a day required for the family or flatmates day in, day out (with limited ingredients), it’s also where home schooling now occurs for some families, where games are played, and also where snacks are constantly being stolen! Never fear, for the following weeks, I’ll be delivering you simple, extremely tasty recipes only using pantry basics, as per the recipe below. The aim is to keep you at home and not to have to dash out to the supermarket. So come on Queenstown, let’s make this past month of lock
down worth it for all by making it safely through the home straight to Alert Level 3 and, eventually, 2. We can do it! Enjoy this simple but moreish soup. Stay safe.



1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large garlic cloves
1 onion diced
3 celery sticks diced
2 medium carrots diced small
1 teaspoon paprika (use smoked if prefer a smokey flavour)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Juice of 1 lemon
1 can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock (or vege or beef if preferred)
1 cup uncooked red or puy lentils, rinsed (if you only have canned lentils, rinse, drain and use 2 cups less stock)
3 handfuls of kale, roughly chopped (or use spinach or silverbeet)
Sea salt and pepper
Parsley for garnish

1.  In large pot pour in oil and heat to a medium heat. Add in onions. Sautee for 3-4 mins
until softened. Add in garlic and cook for a further 1 min, ensuring you do not brown.

2.  Add in celery and carrot and cook for further 3 mins.

3.  Stir in paprika, cumin, coriander and chilli and cook for a few more minutes.

4.  Next, stir in tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about simmer 20 mins until the lentils have softened and vegetables are cooked. Pour in the lemon juice.

5.  Add in the kale or whichever leafy green you are using and cook for a further 2-3 mins until leaves are wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

6.  Serve immediately.

NB:  Do not be afraid to substitute out any ingredients in these simple recipes. If you don’t
have cumin or coriander, use garamasla or curry powder, or simply leave out. If you
don’t have canned tomatoes, use about 4-5 fresh ones. No celery, use some fennel, bok
choy stems, celery salt or celeriac. No lentils, throw in half the volume of rice (rinsed).
Or simply add in any fresh vegetables you have in the fridge, at a time where they will
be cooked at the same time as the lentils. Enjoy!