Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

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Turkish lentil soup or mercimek çorbasi is one of those dishes that reminds me of being a kid. A sick kid come to think of it. My mum used to always make this for my sisters and I when we were feeling ill. Maybe that’s why I love it so much because it was always served with buttery toast and lots of sympathy? Anyway, it was and still is one of my favourite, most comforting things to eat. My mum’s version is the best although I do love to squeeze loads of extra lemon on top of mine. This Instagram post seemed to be a big hit recently with lots of lovely feedback from people that tried it out and loved it so I thought I’d share the recipe here. It’s just so easy and tasty, all year round in my opinion but especially now that it is much colder.

Not that mercimek çorba needs any pimping (it’s a world of goodness for the soul all on its own), this roasted squash alternative, if you will, brings this humble soup recipe to a whole new level. If you are 1 or 2 persons I advise making this whole batch as its keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

You will need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large carrots, peeled and halved

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of thyme

Olive oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

200g red lentils

2 litres of bone broth or chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

To garnish:

Crème fraîche

Hemp seeds

Garden cress

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Toss all of the prepared vegetables and sprigs of thyme into a large roasting tray, drizzle generously with some good olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, turning halfway through, until all of the vegetables are soft and have begun to singe and caramelise on the edges.

When the roasted vegetables have about 20 minutes left to cook, you can make a start on the lentils. Place a large, heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garam masala, cumin, cayenne, coriander and paprika and stir with a wooden spoon for about a minute. Add the lentils and continue to stir and cook for a further minute until all the lentils are coated in the spices and oil. Pour in your stock, increase the heat to high and bring the lentils to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.

At this stage your roasted vegetables should be ready. Add the entire contents of the roasting tray to the lentils, sprigs of thyme and all, pour in the lemon juice, stir well to combine and cover and cook for a further 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to take on the flavour of all of the spices. Once the soup is ready set it aside to cool for about half an hour.

You can use a hand blender or a regular blender to purée the soup, although you may need to do it in batches if using the latter. Once the soup has been blitzed and is completely smooth, taste it and season well with sea salt and cracked black pepper. To garnish, sprinkle over some hemp seeds and garden cress and a generous dollop of crème fraîche

Lovely served with sliced, crusty bread, toasted with grated gruyère cheese!

Here’s me perfecting the dollop! All in a days work…

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These images are the result of another inspiring collaboration with Holly {Avenue Lifestyle}. We headed to Belgium together to meet Christian Kocx, owner of online shop Mooi Goed (selling contemporary design home accessories), to shoot his stunning home. Well Holly did that part, I tucked myself away in the kitchen roasting veggies and making soup. You can read all the lovely things Holly wrote about this soup here, she’s a keeper that one. Thank you Christian and family for letting me take over your kitchen and Holly your house!

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Hope you like this one! x

CREDITS | Images Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle}

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Amsterdam

There is this never-ending list on my phone of places I need to go to eat and drink coffee in. I had a similar list when I lived in Dublin but it was somewhat shorter and easier to keep up with. Amsterdam, not so much. It’s been 5 months now and this love affair continues where I am eager to discover everything there is to know, head-in-the-clouds happy, still overlooking the daily displeasures, (namely the fact that it is 0 degrees outside and I don’t want to get on my bike), that aside, my list continues to grow.

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Just over a month ago, I wrote an article for Image Interiors and Living Magazine about a few of my foodie favourites that I have managed to tick off my list since moving to Amsterdam. It was only available to buy in Ireland so for those of you that haven’t seen it yet I thought I’d share it with you here. The lovely Rincy (who took all of the beautiful photos for the article) and I literally ate our way around the city during the few days that she was here and it was awesome!

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There was also a mini Insta-Amsterdam version you can see on Image Daily here.

Still loving and regularly visiting Headfirst Coffee Roasters, Scandinavian Embassy, SLA, Hollandaluz and Daalder.

Hot on my list right now are Paper Planes (pictured below), CT Coffee and Coconuts and Vinnies Deli (pictured below).

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Looking forward to trying Jacketz next after reading what Amsterdam Foodie wrote.

Here’s to cosying up and comfort-eating our way through this winter that is about to hit x

CREDITS | Images 1, 2, 3 Rincy Kosy | 4, 5 Image Interiors and Living | 6, 7 Ajda Mehmet