While living in Hong Kong I got into the habit of checking the weather forecast every day, usually in the vain hope that there would be a heavy enough storm on the horizon to grant me a few hours off work. Back in the UK the forecasts are rather redundant, because this is Manchester where it’s pretty much guaranteed to rain every day. Anything besides rain is likely to catch me off guard – I felt a flutter of fear when my students told me excitedly on Friday that it was going to snow over the weekend (my Middle Eastern students have never seen snow and think it magical and festive rather than an inconvenience), but was in fact pleasantly surprised to see the sun out instead.
Despite this rare appearance, it remained cold (and of course, it did rain at times), so we remain firmly within soup season. Soup is the ideal light meal in winter, and a spicy soup moreso. This is another fiery and tasty one which will bring a bit of sunshine even when the weather doesn’t deliver.
Spicy Carrot & Lentil Soup
Serves 4, adapted from BBC GoodFood
600g carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 tbsp curry paste
1 litre vegetable stock
125ml coconut milk
150g red lentils
1. Gently heat the carrot and curry paste for a minute, stirring to coat everything.
2. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 7 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk and lentils and simmer for another 15 minutes until the lentils and carrot are tender.
4. Let cool slightly, then whizz in the blender until smooth.
5. Return to the pan, reheat gently (add more water if you want to thin it out), season and serve.