This Lentil Soup recipe can be adjusted to make either a nice broth with bread or a filling chunky variety. This soup is simple to make, nutritious and cheap, cheap, cheap! Quantities below makes a pan to feed four people.
Lentil Soup Ingredients
red lentils – half a cup to one cup depending how thick you want it
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, diced
water to cover well
stock of choice (we like a spoon of Vecon Stock with extra vits for winter!)
salt if needed, depending on stock used
Place lentils and water in pan and bring to the boil while preparing the other vegetables. Add them and stock, cook until tender. Mash or partially blend if you wish. Ta-da!
a handful or two of cashew nuts depending how creamy you want it
salt to taste
Place carrots and celery in a pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and turn down to simmer for a few minutes. Add the wild garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until everything is tender. Pour into blender jug with nuts and salt. Blend and enjoy.
Tips: If your blender is not very strong, try soaking the cashews in water overnight to soften them. You can use 3 or 4 cloves of normal garlic in place of the wild garlic. Add a bunch of coriander for a popular classic!
Food for Free by Richard Mabey is a great guide to Britain’s wild
foods. A favourite reference tool of ours, detailing wild herbs,
berries, greens, sea vegetables and fungi.
Leek and potato soup is a basic dish, yet the flavour combination is beautiful. These quantities make a large pan of soup – they can easily be reduced by half if desired.
Pictured above is a simplified version using no oil, garlic, flour or peas. It’s just potatoes, leeks, water and salt, cooked then mashed. It’s on the pink bench, one of our upcycled pallet projects.
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
2 medium leeks, sliced width-ways into thin round slices
a couple of cloves of garlic (optional)
6-8 large potatoes, cut into chunks (about 2 or 3 cm.)
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 cup of frozen peas (an optional extra)
5 or 6 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the leeks and garlic, if using, in the sunflower oil for a few minutes then stir in the flour. Add one cup of water and stir well to blend. Add the potatoes and the rest of the water (you may need to adjust the quantity slightly – make sure all the vegetables are well covered). Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, and then turn down to simmer until the potatoes are just about cooked. Finally, if using, add the peas and cook for a further few minutes until tender. Season to taste.
This tomato rice soup is a tasty way to use up leftover rice. It’s particularly cheap if you have your own herbs on hand in the garden or a pot. We used rosemary which is very easy to grow – most cuttings grow just from being stuck in the ground without any additives, so ask your green fingered friends or snip some bits in parks/public gardens 🙂 Of course you could just buy some. It’s a very hardy perrenial too, so good for the British winters staying green and edible throughout.
Ingredients: a little olive oil 1 chopped onion 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 tin of tomatoes water (fill tin and rinse out tomato juice with it) cooked rice (we used about 2 cups of brown rice here but the quantity is variable – add more/less water if needed) a good handful of fresh herbs (or a teaspoon of dried) a squirt of tomato puree salt and pepper to taste
Cook the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes then add tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer. Add your rice and herbs (fresh herbs are easiest cut in with a scissors) then the tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes or so longer, stirring occasionally taste to check that the veg and herbs are cooked, season and enjoy!
Nettle soup is a traditional springtime dish, eaten for both its nutrition and taste. Don’t worry – nettles don’t sting when cooked!
Don’t gather nettles or other wild food beside a busy road where it will have been contaminated by traffic fumes. If you keep cutting them you’ll get a regular supply of fresh young leaves, though they can get a bit insect infested during the summer! The older leaves are not good to eat and are hard on the digestive system.
Below are two different recipes for soup.
A ‘cream of’ style nettle soup
2 tablespoons of vegetable margarine or oil
2 tablespoons of white flour
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Freshly picked and washed young nettles (several good handfuls – picked with gloves and caution!)
2 cups soya milk (tesco value is cheap and organic too) OR a handful of soaked cashew nuts
1 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil or marg. for a few minutes then stir in the nettles (no need to chop or remove stalks) until they soften. Stir in the flour and gradually add the soya milk and water or stock, stirring all the time. Add seasonings and blend.
Soup with nettles and potatoes
Ingredient quantities are totally adjustable:
Do an onion and 5 garlic cloves in some oil. Add half head of celery and two potatoes, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer till soft. Then add the gathered nettles, some sage and parsley (feel free to experiment with other herbs but sage is great in this), a stock cube and salt to taste. Cook for for a few minutes and blend.
Food for Free by Richard Mabey is a great guide to Britain’s wild foods. A favourite reference tool of ours, detailing wild herbs, berries, greens, sea vegetables and fungi.
Well, lots has happened here in Frugal Towers since we last wrote. There’s been hospitalisations, there’s been strange symptoms… now there’s bandages and medicine. But the frugal life goes on, as does this peculiar year!
See our Frugal Christmas section on how to minimise the cost and stress that can occur at this time. Some festive recipes too.
If you want to stock those cupboards up, Approved Food is the place to do it, selling soap and cleaning products too. Their stock changes daily.
Everything5pounds is the place to get cheap winter woolies for the approaching season. Also good for festive gifts.
Our founder’s debut novel is still available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited (they do a free trial which is a good way to stock up on some autumn reading). THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Libraries can get it too.
What strange times we are living through. We very much hope that you are all well and safe and have plenty to eat and plenty of, the now most popular item in Britain, toilet roll!
Our recipe selection this time focuses on two things: immune support and meals from store cupboard ingredients.
First the immune system: Wild Garlic Pesto – can be made with standard garlic too, both being anti-infective and immune boosting. Nettle Soup – eat up those nutrients! And enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of nettle (just poking through the ground now). Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage – a brand new recipe on the site, this one, super cheap and also rich in nutrients.
And if you want to stock those cupboards up, it’s better to do it somewhere that is set up for the purpose, rather than depleting the stocks that everyone needs. Approved Food is one such bargain place, selling soap and cleaning products too. And sometimes even toilet roll! Their stock changes daily.
Still a bargain for a traditionally published book at £2.99 for the
ebook, our founder’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an
often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations,
in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.