healthy eating

moroccan chickpea and lentil soup


This soup was a great favourite of mine in my Weight Watchers days - I made it again recently and to my delight, it is still excellent. And perfect for those nights where the air is freezing, you can smell chimney smoke and rotting leaves, and hear next-door’s dogs howling at the moon.

Moroccan Chickpea and Lentil Soup

2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons turmeric
4 teaspoons Masterfoods Moroccan Seasoning (or a spicier Moroccan souk seasoning, my favourite is this one from Gerwurzhaus)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cups red lentils, rinsed
2 x 420g cans chickpeas, drained
2 large or 3 medium carrots, diced
1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 large red capsicum, chopped
1 sweet potato (or large white potato), chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Vegetable stock (or water), to cover
Fresh coriander to serve, if desired

Coat a stockpot with cooking spray. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until soft. Add a bit of stock if it starts to stick.

Add carrots, capsicum, sweet potato and zucchini (a note on the vegetables: this combination is not set in stone. It works brilliantly with any vegetables so use up whatever you’ve got). Mix well, then add the red lentils and chickpeas. Add the spices. Stir well to coat everything evenly.

Cook for about a minute, until everything is fragrant and combined thoroughly. Add enough stock to cover. Stir well. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer.

Come back to check on the soup every 15 minutes or so. Lentils will absorb the liquid as they cook, so you may need to add more stock or water during the cooking time, depending how thick you want the soup.

After 30 minutes, check the lentils to see if they are tender. If they are, the soup is ready. If not, cook for a further 10 minutes before checking again.

A note on the spices: some Moroccan seasonings can be quite mild so taste the soup as you go and add more if you want. I prefer a kick!

Either serve the soup as it is, or puree roughly with a hand-held blender to break up the bigger chunks of carrot and capsicum.

Serve immediately, or freeze in containers. Makes enough for 8 serves.

This is one of the most comforting things in the world to eat when it’s cold outside.

best ever kale pesto

You know how when you make something that's so delicious you just want to eat it all the time? 

Make this pesto and you'll understand!

And as usual, with a Phil recipe, it makes a lot! I got large jars and enough for a decent amount on toast with this batch.

Best ever kale pesto

250g curly kale

80g basil leaves (roughly two packets)

Small bunch parsley (roughly 80g)

50g pine nuts + 100g walnuts + handful of almonds (you could just use 160g nuts of your choice, this particular combo is very tasty)

Juice of 1 medium lemon

1 large clove garlic, peeled

40ml extra virgin olive oil

125ml filtered water

Salt (I use Pink Himalayan salt) and pepper

If you prefer the nuts toasted, toast them first in a dry frying pan until golden brown. Set aside. I love the flavour of toasted nuts and would recommend you do it if you have time. When you're in  a rush, you can just skip that step but it will still taste amazing. 

Place the kale in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. You need to do this first because, unless you have some industrial sized food processor, you won't be able to fit the rest of the ingredients in there until the kale has broken down a bit.

Add the basil and parsley. Pulse again.

Add the remaining ingredients apart from the water and oil.

Get the motor running and put the oil and then the water into the drip feed container at the top on the food processor's lid. Process until the oil and water has dripped through and the pesto is smooth enough to your liking. You can add more water if you want it less thick.

Spoon into jars and keep refrigerated. Lasts well up to two weeks (if it lasts that long!)

Enjoy it any way you like - I have eaten it with pasta, gnocchi, on toast, as a dip, dolloped in soup, stirred through risotto. It's so versatile and delicious and you'll seriously be thinking of an excuse to make it every single weekend!