It’s darn cold outside. Not that anyone needs a reminder, but the first thing that comes to mind in this weather is soup! Anyone who knows me, knows I am a soup girl. A die hard, slurp loving, big bowl of yummy soup girl. I always feel so satisfied after eating it, kind of like I’ve been wrapped in a big warm bear hug. So seeing as this is my inaugural post as a Yummy Mummy blogger, I thought it so appropriate that I welcome all my new readers with my latest fab soup recipe, kind of like a virtual big hug o' soup. (Yes, I confess, I am a hugger too).
This is what’s been simmering on my stove in the last week. I love this recipe, because it’s super easy and quick to throw together without a lot of prep. The soup is protein packed which makes it great to serve on a weeknight as a main course or to send off as a lunch. It’s mostly vegetables with a little meat, so it’s very healthy but hearty too. I’ve also made this many times without the beef and it works really well as a vegetarian dish too. The curry paste gives it amazing flavour, so you can cut back on salt while getting all those amazing health benefits from those Indian spices. Best of all, it’s yummy! I hope you like it.
Curry Spiced Beef, Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
I always make extra, as this soup tastes even better re-heated the next day.
Heat oil in a medium sized stock pot.
Brown beef pieces on all sides. Remove.
I like to use Angus beef because it’s quite a bit leaner than most stewing beef. It may cost a bit more, but makes a really low fat but tasty soup.
Dice onions and sauté until browned. Watch that you do not burn and if you see any brown spots developing, scrape down immediately.
I like to throw all my onions in a small size (2 c.) food chopper for speedy and tearless chopping. This is one of my ‘go-to’ kitchen gadgets for a 30 second solution to dicing up onions, celery, carrots, bread crumbs, etc!
Once browned, add curry paste and stir until cooked through, about 5 mins. Add honey and 2 pinches of salt.
This amount of curry paste results in a mildly spiced soup. I love the curry paste because all the flavours really reduce the need for additional salt. If you prefer a more “tasty” soup, you can add more curry paste once the stock is added to your liking. Just bear in mind that these spices develop flavour with cooking time, so be sure to add, cook for some time and then taste before you add too much.
Return beef to pot and incorporate. Add water and chicken stock. Add sweet potatoes and then lentils.
I like to use homemade chicken stock as a base for my soup recipes. I always keep some on hand in my freezer and prefer homemade so I can keep the salt content low and the fat content negligible. Homemade stock is uber easy to make and freeze, I will be sharing my foolproof recipe in a future post, but if you want to try your hand at making your own, just head to Google. If you prefer to buy, every grocery store stocks many brands of low sodium stock or better yet, head to your local butcher. Many make stock in house that they keep on hand in the freezer section.
Bring to a very gentle simmer for about 45-60 minutes.
Lentils should fall apart to the touch.
Turn off heat and let soup settle for about 5 minutes. Use ladle to scoop out about 6 cups of soup from the top. Use a hand blender to blend the 6 cups until smooth and return to the soup. Mix back in.
Once you let the soup settle, the meat and bigger chunks of sweet potato should settle to the bottom. I skim off the top to blend most of the lentils to create a rich and creamy soup. I like to leave most of the meat and sweet potato chunky, but you can blend the whole thing too. It’s really up to your taste.
Garnish and serve. Watch everyone slurp up your delicious soup and line up for seconds. Give yourself a little pat on the back for trying a new recipe.
Garnishes can be the most important part of your soup meal. They can dress up your dish and make it suitable for serving to guests, change the flavour, create some additional texture or re-vitalize a soup left over. I like to mix up the garnishes every time I serve a soup. Here I served my soup with some chopped green onions, coriander and yogurt. Tomorrow night may bring sourdough croutons and some cheddar. Garnishes are a great way to serve your soup a couple of different ways and make your leftovers into a whole new dish.
Enjoy! And please be sure to let me know what you think.