Curried sweet potato soup

Monday, 27 June 2016
Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

I first tried curried sweet potato soup a few months ago when I was on a little overnight stay with a friend. We came across a lovely cafe in a tiny village, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It was the cutest place, filled with vintage decor, bright colours, and a really homely atmosphere. The soup of the day was curried sweet potato and it was the most delicious soup I'd tasted in a long time. The contrast between the sweetness of the potato and the spicy Indian flavours from the curry was just wonderful and I knew I had to try recreating it at home.

I love this soup and have been making it every few weeks. I sometimes eat it by itself with some bread as a lunch, but more often I eat it as a dinner, adding rice, broccoli, sweetcorn and spinach to it. That maybe sounds a little odd but trust me, it is so good! It also works out to be a really cheap meal as the ingredients are so basic, and you probably have all the spices and herbs in your house already so you just need to pick up the veggies. It makes a huge pot so it will last you for the whole week, or you can freeze it and use it at a later date. 

Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

You will need (serves 6):
2 large sweet potatoes
3 carrots
1 onion
1/2 cup red lentils
7-8 cups vegetable stock made with 1 1/2 stock cubes (add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency of soup)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
ground pepper to taste

Method
- Cut the sweet potatoes and carrots into largish chunks and finely chop the onion.
- In a large pot, fry the onion in a little water for 2-3 minutes to soften it.
- Add the herbs and spices and fry off for 2-3 minutes. 
- Add the stock, sweet potatoes, carrots, and lentils to the pot and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 40-45 minutes.
- Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. If you find the soup is too thick for you then add some extra water.

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Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

Banana granola

Monday, 20 June 2016
Vegan Banana Granola

I think bananas are possibly my most used ingredient. You can just do so much with them, plus they taste incredible and add so much delicious sweetness to things. I also love granola so it was really only a matter of time before banana granola became a thing. Now, I think this may be my favourite granola ever, so much so that since creating this recipe a good few months ago I've constantly had a jar filled with it in the house, baking up big batches when it runs out to keep me going. I really just can't get enough, sometimes I even eat it out of the jar with my hands because it's that good.

Vegan Banana Granola

You will need: 
2 1/2 cups jumbo oats 
1/2 cup almonds 
1/2 cup pecans 
1 very ripe banana 
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
1 cup sultanas (optional) 

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
- Roughly chop the almonds and pecans using a food processor. 
- Add the oats, chopped nuts and seeds to a large bowl and mix together. 
- Mash the banana using a fork and combine this with the maple syrup in a small bowl. Mix until a smooth liquid forms. 
- Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, ensuring that everything is coated. 
- Split the mixture between two lined baking trays and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the granola is golden brown and crunchy. 
- Leave to cool and then mix through the sultanas if you are adding these.

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Vegan Banana Granola

Lentil bolognese

Monday, 13 June 2016
Vegan Lentil Bolognese

This recipe has been one of my favourites for a long time now. I first made it shortly after becoming vegetarian last year and it's become a regular go-to meal, and luckily it is vegan too. It's one of those ones that I just make time and time again because it's so easy and tastes so good. It also freezes really well so I make it in big batches and freeze the leftovers in portions for another day. You can serve it with pasta, spaghetti, salad or rice, and it makes a really good lunch for taking to work too. I always feel that you can never go wrong with a really hearty and satisfying meal like this one, and I'm sure you've realised by now if you are a regular reader that I have a soft spot for anything that can be cooked in one pot with minimal fuss.

Vegan Lentil Bolognese

You will need (serves 6): 
1 courgette 
2 carrots 
1 onion 
2 cloves garlic
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes 
5 tablespoons tomato puree
1 cup red lentils 
1 cup green lentils 
5 cups vegetable stock/water (made using one stock cube)
2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes 
pepper to taste 

Method: 
- Finely chop all the vegetables and mince the garlic. 
- Fry the onion in one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. 
- Add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot and leave to simmer for 45-50 minutes, stirring regularly. 
- Serve with your choice of spaghetti, pasta and veggies. I love mixing a handful of spinach leaves through the sauce just before serving and serving it with lots of spaghetti.

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Vegan Lentil Bolognese