Spicy lentil and tomato soup with smoked paprika.

Ingredients for about 6-8 portions, adjust seasoning to taste:

– Lately I’ve been doubling up on the paprika, also a pinch of thyme and a couple of bay leaves don’t go amiss if you like those, but it works either way.

  • 8oz 227g red split lentils
  • 2 x 10oz tins chopped plum tomatoes
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large or 2 small onions chopped finely
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon hot smoked paprika
  • 1 level teaspoon sweet paprika
  • A good twist of ground black pepper
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used kalamata olive from aldi)

I used two pans for convenience, but you could drain the veg then fry the onions in the same one, you’ll want a sieve for the lentils and something to stir with.

Soak lentils for a couple of hours then rinse thoroughly.

Cut carrots into pieces and boil for 5 minutes, peel potatoes, add to pan and boil another 10 minutes or so until they start to soften.

Remove the carrots and spuds from boiling water with fork and crush with a blunt instrument. Put lentils in the veg water, bring back to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

In the other pan, lightly fry the chopped onions and garlic in oil until just golden.

Mix together fried onions, garlic, potato and carrot, add paprika and black pepper, stir for 2 minutes on low heat, add tomatoes and cooked lentils, bring back to low simmer, crumble in the stock cube and stir in some of the cooking water to give the desired consistency.

Keep it bubbling gently on low heat stirring all the while until smooth enough to your taste (about 15 minutes for me). Even better heated up next day.


Vegan Chocolate Cake Recipe

You’ve been asking for it, here it is:


250g self raising flour
25g soya flour
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
150g sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml soya milk
125ml sunflower oil
3 tablespoons golden syrup

Get a big bowl, and sieve the self raising flour, soya flour and cocoa powder. Pour the sugar on to the top. Don’t worry about mixing it at this stage.

In a jug dissolve the bicarb of soda in to the soyamilk. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl with the flour (don’t mix it yet) Then pour on the oil and the golden syrup.

Now slowly mix it all together. Mix it so it’s all combined etc, but without overmixing.

Split the mixture between two cake tins and cook in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 25 minutes. (Fan assisted Ovens should lower the temperature to 160)

If you want to make ‘butter’ icing use 100g dairy free marg, 200g icing sugar, 1 table spoon cocoa powder.

Put the marg in a bowl and beat it until it goes really soft, then pour in the sugar and cocoa powder, and mix it in.