stridently healthy: lentil and savoy cabbage soup


the miso soup which i have posted about recently fulfils a very specific need. it’s light, delicious and obviously healthy.

this lentil and savoy cabbage soup is similar except it screams healthiness and worthiness given its star ingredients are cabbage and lentils. this isn’t always a good thing – to make a huge generalisation, boys often need persuading of the virtues of this kind of food!

however, there are definitely days when i need to eat something that is going to make me feel a little bit saintly. whether it’s because i’ve been overindulging, need to be frugal or i just feel that my body needs a dose of healthiness.

the recipe is deceptively simple but tastes fabulous and ticks the saintly box. unless of course you grate over mounds of parmesan and eat it with fresh bread slathered in delicious french bridel butter. but even then it manages to retain an aura of austerity. deluded? moi? surely not…

lentil and savoy cabbage soup* (serves 2-3)

200g yellow lentils**

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced

3 medium carrots, sliced into 3mm discs

2 sprigs rosemary

1/2 a savoy cabbage, shredded

1 litre stock (i used marigold bouillon powder)

parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

salt & pepper

cook the lentils until just ready. start them before you prepare the vegetables and they should be ready at the right time.

in the meantime, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the leeks, carrots and rosemary sprigs and soften the vegetables gently for five minutes. add the stock, bring to boil and simmer for 15 mins, stir in the cabbage and cooked lentils and season to taste. simmer for a few more minutes, remove the rosemary and serve in warm bowls. before eating, sprinkle some parmesan over the top.

* based on a recipe from sainsbury’s magazine

** you could use tinned lentils instead