It’s nearly Christmas and I am seriously wishing I was at home enjoying the Christmas build up. It’s just not the same being here in Dubai where the sun is shining and it’s still warm outside. A bit chilly in the evening just doesn’t count as winter. Don’t get me wrong, the weather out here is lovely at this time of year but it just doesn’t fell like Christmas and this year we are staying in Dubai for Christmas so homesickness really sets in.
At least when it’s dark it can feel festive! The decorations are up in the flat and I have bought so many Marks and Spencer’s snacks that they don’t even fit in the kitchen cupboards! I seem to completely lack control the minute I step in the shop so I dread to think what I will be like when I move back to the UK!
Lasrt night I had the ultimate lazy December night in. Christmas tree lights on, mandarin and cinnamon candles burning, eating a big bowl of lentil, chicken and vegetable soup watching The Holiday. All that’s missing is a fire burning! I love making a big pot of soup in the winter. The perfect choice to warm you up and it makes me feel like I am back in Scotland sheltering from a cold winters night.
Lentil soup is one of my favourites and really is the ultimate winter food. This makes a lovely big pot of soup which you can freeze and defrost when you need it.
Makes 6 portions
1 large leek
1 large sweet potato
1 head of broccoli
4 chicken breasts
3 large handfuls of spinach
100g of red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock
- Prepare the vegetables. Slice the leek down the middle and cut into semi circles. Peel the carrot and sweet potato and cut into bite size pieces and also prepare bite size pieces of broccoli.
- Heat some olive oil in a large pan. Add the leek and brown for a few minutes.
- Add the carrot and sweet potato and let the vegetables sweat for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the stock to the pan and cut the chicken breasts in half and add to the chicken to the pan to poach with the vegetables.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add in the lentils and broccoli ensuring all the ingredients are submerged. Season generously.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Once cooked, add the spinach and allow it to wilt.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and chop into small pieces.
- Remove the soup from the heat and blend with a hand held blender, leaving a few vegetable chunks.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and mix well.
- Serve and separate into portions which can be frozen.
Enjoy the perfect winter warmer!