It's cold! I know, it's January but it's really cold. The kind of weather that makes me crave spicy things like chili and curry and SOUP!
So for lunch I made some Spicy Lentil Soup and Cornmeal Scones, perfect for a cold winter's day and so easy to make.
For the soup you will need a just a few store cupboard ingredients:
1 or 2 carrots - chopped
1 onion - chopped
1 cup red lentils - rinse in cold water
1 stock cube
1 Tablespoon of my Homemade Chili Seasoning
Did you miss the recipe for Homemade Chili Seasoning? Click HERE to see how to make it.
Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a large sauce pan and gently fry the carrots and onions until they begin to soften. Add the lentils, a stock cube and enough water to cover the lentils. Bring this mixture to a boil then turn the heat down. Stir in 1 Tablespoon Chili Seasoning Mix and simmer until the vegetables and lentils are very soft. This will take about 20 - 30 minutes. You may have to add a bit more water as the lentils cook - but not too much. You want a thick, rich soup. I like a smooth soup, so I use a stick blender to whizz together the vegetables and lentils.
While the soups simmers, we can bake some Cornmeal Scones. Heat the oven to 220C/420F. Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set to the side while we make the dough. You will need the following ingredients:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal or polenta
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 oz (1/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Place the the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine the ingredients. Add the butter and rub or cut it into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Stir in the yogurt. If the mixture seems dry you can add a little water, a tablespoon at a time.
Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it 4 or 5 times. Pat the dough into a rough circle, about 3/4 inch thick and cut into 8 pieces with a floured knife.
Place the dough on the lined baking sheet, brush with a little yogurt and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and a LITTLE sea salt. If you want the edges of the scones to be crispy, separate them into individual pieces. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve the scones warm with a bowl of steaming hot soup and lots of butter.
It may be cold outside but after this lunch you'll feel warm on the inside!
Scone recipe was adapted from theenglishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk