I like soup, a whole lot. I think I could happily eat soup for dinner every night (my family doesn't always think so, but that's ok - cause I'm happy to eat it all myself). Well then how good that I've joined the Salvation Army Be a SouperHero Challenge! Yay - a whole week of soup. But actually, the real reason I'm doing it is to raise funds to donate to the thousands of people in Australia who have no choice but to eat soup every night, the people who can't afford luxury items, who sometimes can't afford heating for their homes. There are thousands living on less than $17 a day for all their expenses (after accommodation costs), including food, schooling, medical. That's a cup of coffee, and a magazine for some of you!
Each year the Salvation Army raises money through their shops, door-knock-appeals and now the Souper Challenge. I've decided that I'll be eating soup for every dinner for the whole week of the appeal from 25th - 31st July, and I'm asking you to sponsor me. The cost of a cup of coffee, or a dinner out - whatever you can spare. I'll be eating soup.
I've decided that I will need more than just and only soup for the whole week, due to being a breastfeeding mama - so I'm setting myself a challenge of soup each night for dinner (rather than the official challenge of soup for every meal). If you're keen to join in there's heaps of different challenges to work around your life, and encourage you to participate. Check it all out on the main website.
A week of soup - what's your favourite soup? Being a vegetarian, and living on a budget, soup is a low-cost but high nutritious food for us. We fill it with lentils or beans and lots of fresh locally grown veges.
Here's my recipe for Red Lentil & Ginger Soup - perfect to stick to a budget, fill your tummy and keep you healthy; the ginger is great for cold season to boost your immune system.
1 cup of red lentils
1 red onion, finely diced
1 cup pumpkin, cut into cubes
1/2 bunch kale, cut into slithers
3 large fresh tomatoes, cut into cubes or 1 tin diced toms
piece of fresh ginger, grated - as much or as little as you like the heat of it
2 pinches of sea or rock salt
spices - 1t each of powdered cumin, coriander, turmeric (or freshly if you can get it)
a few gluggs of good quality olive oil
Other veges you can include - potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots…. cut into cubes
Put the lentils on to boil, covered well with water. They take about 15 mins at a semi-rapid boil.
Heat a heavy based frypan (I use a cast iron pan I've had since I was 18), and add the olive oil, onion, salt and spices and let the onion soften and start to caramelise slightly. Add the pumpkin (potatoes, sweet potatoes) and allow to cook for about 5-7 minutes, add the kale and cook down briefly, then the tomatoes and about 2 cups of water. Cook for approx 15 mins until the tomatoes are all nice and juicy and broken down (less time if you happen to use a tin of diced tomatoes).
By this stage the lentils should be cooked. Drain them, but retain the cooking water. Put the lentils and tomato vege sauce into the saucepan, and add enough lentil cooking water to make a lovely thick soup consistency. Grate in the ginger, and cook for 15 mins - adding more water (lentil water) if you want.
Serve with fresh coriander, feta cheese or yoghurt and a slice of yummy bread, + freshly cracked black pepper for extra bite. Gobble it up and go back for seconds. It keeps well for a day or two in fridge and makes excellent leftovers for breakfast or lunch. It will thicken up and can be reheated easily.
I'd love any other suggestions for what soup I should make for the Be a SouperHero Challenge. You can find my channa masala dahl / soup recipe here, and I've love to know if you make my red lentil & ginger soup.