This wholesome curried legume soup uses borlotti beans and lentils for a richly flavoured, chunky soup full of goodness! With a tomato base and added celery, zucchini and carrots this is a nourishing and wholesome soup for lunch or dinner that is cost-effective and delicious!
This recipe is brought to you by #LegumesFromEurope
Mr NQN has been having this curried legume soup for lunch every day and I made this to coincide with the change of seasons. The curry powder adds a really lovely aroma to the soup and this has a wonderful range of textures in it. It's chunky but not too thick and it's a great soup to have for lunch.
So what are legumes? A legume is a general term and refers to any plant in the Fabaceae family (eg lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts, yes even peanuts!). This include its leaves, stems and pods. However a pulse is the seed from the legume plant (beans, lentils, and peas). So a lentil, bean and pea can be a legume as well as being a pulse!
Because of the high protein content, legumes are really popular with vegetarian and vegans. They are also inexpensive and easy to source which is why they're popular in a lot of cultures and cuisines. I always have a canned legumes in my pantry because they're much easier to use than dried (I NEVER remember to soak them, ever). European tinned legumes come in a wide range of varieties, including chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and more. Tinned legumes have a longer shelf life than fresh legumes which can help to reduce food waste and support sustainability efforts. For me I like the convenience of just opening up a tin to use them instead of soaking dried legumes.
This recipe is from Chef Andrea Moio and is the fourth and final recipe I'm making from the Legumes from Europe recipe collection. I hope you've liked these recipes as much as I have. This soup has lentils and borlotti beans in it. Lentils are most well known for their fibre content but are also rich in proteins, iron, copper and sugar. Flavonoids and niacin are also found in lentils and they also have antioxidant properties. There is also a high amount of thiamine which helps to improve cognitive performance and focus. Borlotti beans are also called cranberry bean, Roman bean, romano bean and provide high fibre protein with low fat and sugar and are low GI too. Also one of the best things about legumes and pulses is that they're inexpensive and have stayed that way. Which counts for a lot these days.
I went supermarket shopping with Mr NQN the other day. For the past couple of years he hasn't ventured into a supermarket. COVID meant that we now get everything delivered to our house -I put together the shopping list so he doesn't really ever the price of anything. Couple that with when we go out to dinner I choose what we eat so he never looks at the menu. When I picked up some chicken he was shocked. "What a bloody rip off!" he said eyes wide. I had to explain that that was the cost of chicken now. Then he saw the price of cheese, bread and ice cream and suddenly his head was reeling and he tried to put them back on the shelves.
I guess I wasn't as shocked since I do the supermarket browsing and the prices gradually creeping up to the point of free range organic chicken becoming a luxury item meant that I was like that frog that gets slowly boiled in a pot without panicking and barely notices it is being boiled to death. But to Mr NQN who had last bought chicken in 2020 it was crazy and very alarming. In fact the only things that he wanted to keep in the trolley were the tinned legumes for this soup!
So tell me Dear Reader, did you know the difference between a legume and a pulse? And did you know that peanuts were legumes too? And how are you feeling with the rising cost of living? Is it greatly affecting you?