Vegetable and lentil soup

This recipe for vegetable and lentil soup is quick and easy to make. It's also great for freezing.

If you'd like to see the ingredients or download a highly accessible version of this recipe, you can do that here.


Andrea: Hello my name's Andrea I'm a qualified nutritionist and Chef working for Greenwich Pantry, a food business that teaches cooking skills.

In this video, I show you how to make a Lentil and vegetable soup. Joining me today is Ashley from the Stroke Association.

Ashley: Hello

Andrea: This is a vegan-friendly recipe and it's a great one for freezing to eat later. We also include some tips at the end of how to thicken this if you have any swallowing difficulties.

The prep for this recipe will take around 10 to 15 minutes. It will then cook for around 30 minutes. The ingredients are listed in the video description below but as you can see we have carrots, we have celery, we have leeks, we have red lentils, we have thyme and coriander, we have vegetable stock, garlic, tomato puree.

You'll need a large pan, also various knives, spoons, measuring spoons, a sieve, a blender and of course a chopping board. So let's get chopping.

We'll start with chopping the garlic, the leek, the carrots and the celery.

Ashley: Great. Does it matter how big, how fine, how rough you chop these?

Andrea: No it doesn't actually because as you can see here I've chopped some already, really coarse and really fine. So whatever suits your needs.

Ashley: Fantastic.

Andrea: So I'm just cutting off the ends. These carrots have been washed, as you can see I haven't peeled them. You don't need to peel them.

Ashley: Runaway carrot. So at the minute, I'm using a speciality chopping board that some people who have limited use of one hand may find useful.

So you can see it has some spikes here, be very careful not to cut yourself. You just take the vegetables that you're chopping and press them down very gently onto the spike. And then you can take a knife or there are also specialty knives that you can hold in a slightly more natural position and you can then just chop the vegetables using only one hand.

Andrea: Is it easy to get hold of this equipment?

Ashley: You can find them online in a lot of different places, yeah. You can find them on, I don't want to drop any names, but you can find them online on large retailers.

Andrea: It does look easy to use.

Ashley: It's not bad. You may want to put something non-slip underneath, you can see I've got a big chopping board under here. But they are non-slip mats or even just a folded up towel can make a big difference.


Andrea: As you can see here, I've prepared one of the leeks. It starts off like this. It's got ends on there that are quite dirty and you need to cut it in half to make sure there's no dirt in between each layer. Once you've done that it's easier to chop up as well.

With leeks, they are quite strong. So I know the recipe tells you to use two or three but some people don't like the taste of onions. So be careful with your leeks.

Ashley: So is this recipe quite flexible then? You can change the seasonings, you can change what goes into it.

Andrea: Yes it is and you can keep it seasonal as well. So you could use onions or spring onions instead if you like the taste of onions or leave it out.

Ashley: Now we've had some comments when we were doing the planning stages for this project um from stroke survivors who say they really struggle with fatigue. Can you recommend anything for people when they're dealing with a recipe that has a lot of chopping like this?

Andrea: Well you could cook in stages. So for instance when you're cutting up your carrots they're quite hard so might some people might find this quite tiring, cutting up the carrots. So stop. Take a break then go on to something else. If you have to take a long break put the carrots in some water and put them in the fridge. Same goes for all your ingredients. Put them in the fridge just to keep them fresh.


Andrea: Do you want a hand with those garlics?

Ashley: Yes please.

Andrea: So should we add everything to the pot?

Ashley: Let's g.

Andrea: Carrots. The rest of our garlic. So what we need to do now is add some thyme.

Ashley: And if you don't have fresh thyme can you use dried thyme?

Andrea: Dried thyme's fine. And coriander. So we've got ground coriander but you can use coriander seeds as well. You don't need to measure that so just break that off and put that in the pot.

Ashley: Trusting me.

Andrea: The more you put in the more flavour. So go mad.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: Now coriander, it's got a, it's got a really strong taste so I wouldn't just pour it into the pot. I would use measuring spoons for this. About a teaspoonful should be fine.

Ashley: Okay

Andrea: Okay. And then lentils. These lentils come in a packet like this, these are red lentils.

I've washed them, they don't need soaking so...

Ashley: Can you use tinned ones if you can't get or don't like dried ones?

Andrea: You can use tinned ones. They'd be a bit softer but these don't take that long to cook anyway, so we just pop those in as well.

And then you can use some tomato puree.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: Just to add more flavour as well. Now tomato puree is just tomatoes there's no salt in this whatsoever.

Ashley: Fantastic.

Andrea: So you can use as much as you want. [Indecipherable]

Okay and then water. For this recipe, we can use a litre and a half. This jug only holds a half litre, so there's not enough water here.

Ashley: Well I can certainly get more water.

Andrea: Please, thank you. And stock cube. Now...

Ashley: Now stock is very high in salt

Andrea: It can be but we're going to be using a low-salt alternative or you can make your own stock at home.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: By boiling up bones or boiling vegetables to make your own stock.

Ashley: And we will link to a recipe for an easy-to-make vegetable stock in the video description below.

Andrea: So with this one, it is a low-salt alternative so I would use all of this. If it wasn't low-salt I would only use half.

Ashley: Oh okay.

Andrea: So we just break this up. So that's our ingredients in the pot.

Ashley: And that's it?

Andrea: That's it. Let's put the lid on it and we need to put on the stove to simmer.


So Ashley, the soup's been cooking for about 30 minutes should we have a look and see what's happening?

It's really nice thank you. Just give it a quick stir, yeah, to make sure nothing's sticking to the bottom.

Ashley: Oh it looks great.

Andrea: It looks lovely, doesn't it?

So this looks like it's done so as we said before we're going to blend some of this just to thicken it slightly or if you have swallowing difficulties you could blend the whole thing so it's easier to swallow.

Ashley: Great and we will have some guidance on our website and the video description below from the IDDSI swallowing guidelines. So that's the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative. A bit of a mouthful.

Andrea: I'm going to blend about half of this soap.

Ashley: And that's just to thicken the the kind of, the broth of it?

Andrea: Exactly.

See all the lentils have gone to the bottom so let's get a few of those.

I'm going to use the stick blender. It's much easier to use if you've got any weakness due to your stroke.

Plunge the the blender in, make sure it's touching the bottom. Make sure we get all the pieces. I'm just moving it around but lifting it up, make sure you don't have your finger on the button when you do so.

And that's it.

Ashley, as you can see, it's a lot thicker, so I'm going to pour it back into the pan.

Ashley: And if you wanted to to freeze this, you know make a big batch freeze it for later, how long would it be safe to keep in the freezer?

Andrea: About three to four months. But if you did decide to add meat to this, you could only freeze it for about two to three months.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: You can freeze it in one big batch but if you're living on your own and you only want small portions, I would suggest that you freeze in smaller batches. Also you need to put the date that you've frozen it so you know how long it's been in the freezer for.

Ashley: Oh that's very organised. I should really do that myself.

Should we get a bowl and try it out?

Andrea: Yes let's.


Ashley: Oh it looks wonderful.

Andrea: It does isn't it? It smells nice as well.

Ashley: It really does.

Andrea: Should we try?

Ashley: Yeah you go first.

Andrea: Thank you.

That's really nice.

Ashley: That is really nice. That's really good.

Please let us know in the comments if you've tried this recipe out for yourself or if you have any questions. And like the video and subscribe to our channel if you'd like to see more content like this.

Thanks for watching.