• 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 650g carrots, grated
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 200g red lentils

Look, I know there is nothing but nothing more boring than women talking about their weight. Brace yourselves.

I’ve done it again. I’ve overdone it. I’ve been eating whatever I like, as if I’m one of those people blessed with a high metabolism. Nothing fits. Woe is me. The only person who can sort it out is my mouth, by keeping it more shut than open. I’ve taken to quizzing skinny friends as to their secrets. I even quizzed one friend as we got into the back of a cab after a particularly calorific night out including steak and twice cooked chips drenched in salt. There may have been some Prosecco involved too. And gin.

The friend in question doesn’t eat breakfast but does eat pretty healthily and not in sparrow like servings. She’s veggie too. Is this the secret? I have another thin friend who lives abroad who swears by steamed veg covered in veggie gravy and one square of dark chocolate a day. The trouble with me is I’ve never been able to stop at one square. I’m an all or nothing kind of a person.

So here is a soup that is going to be part of my campaign to get back into my jeans. I don’t know that it’s slimming. But carrots and lentils can’t be what leads to a gastric bypass. Can they?

Comments, as always, welcomed. Especially from thin people with The Secret.

One year ago: Baileys chocolate fridge cake truffles  and Experimental banana loaf

Two years ago: Cherry, white choc and apricot biscuits and Reeses’ inspired chocolate and peanut tart andSesame, quinoa and carrot salad

Carrot and lentil soup

  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 650g carrots, grated
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock (I used Bouillon)
  • 1 tsp harissa (we make our own which is super hot so I am being cautious here but you could add more or substitute for dried chillis or a little fresh chilli)
  • 200g red lentils

This is easy. Heat the oil in a very large saucepan. Fry the cumin seeds in the oil for about 30 seconds, they should be sizzling and pop a little. Then add the grated carrots and let them fry a little too. After 5 minutes or so add the veggie stock and the harissa and bring to the boil. Add the red lentils and let them simmer away in the soup for about 30 minutes. Use a blender or stick blender to whizz up to a smooth consistency and then serve with something wholesome like wholemeal pitta toasted and stuffed with houmous. Or wholemeal tortilla brushed with garlic butter and toasted. Hang on, butter wasn’t a part of this campaign. Sorry.

Fresh coriander is very nice on the top of the soup too.

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