Rich Dahl Soup with Tandoori Spiced Chicken

I’ve been flat out busy lately, working all day and looking after a new puppy at night, yes you heard right, a puppy! Meet Waffles the corgi (another pet named after food). She likes to eat, poop, pee on the carpet, eat, shred newspaper, bite ankles, bite socks, bite legs, bite hair, bite faces, eat, pee some more, chew hands, chew slippers, eat, bark when you get her dinner ready, bark if you look at her funny, bark if you don’t pay her any attention, howl in the middle of the night, eat coloured bark and sticks out of the garden, poop and vomit out coloured bark and sticks from the garden…oh and she sometimes looks really cute and gives me snuggles when she is sleepy. Don’t worry, I kinda knew what I was getting myself into after living with Gizmo the corgi for 5 or so years.

Sleepy Waffles
Sleepy Waffles

With all of my waking hours now being taken up by work and puppies it leaves little time for doing anything else. I keep a lookout for recipes that take minimal prep time but taste like you have looked after them all night. This dahl soup has been adapted from the book “What’s cooking, Vegetarian” by Jenny Stacey. It’s tasty, easy to prepare and one of the few recipes that Mrs. Foodie will willingly choose to make.

For the predators, the addition of stir-fried tandoori chicken takes it to the next level.

Serves about 6, takes less than an hour all up.

25g butter

2tsp crushed garlic

1 onion, finely diced

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp garam masala

¼ tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

1 cup dried red lentils

2 squirts lemon juice

1L vege stock

1 x 400ml can coconut milk

Salt & pepper to taste

Handful of chopped coriander leaf (cilantro) to serve

For 2 chicken breasts

4 Tb plain unsweetened yoghurt

2 Tb  tandoori paste

  •  If you are doing chicken, chop that now into ~1.5 cm cubes and mix with the yoghurt and tandoori paste. Refrigerate whilst you cook the soup.


  • In large pot, sauté garlic & onions in the butter for 2 mins.


  • Add spices, heat another minute.


  • Add all other ingredients and simmer 20 – 30 mins till lentils are soft. I pressure cooked mine for 10 minutes.


  • When the soup is almost ready (if pressure cooking, whilst you wait for the pressure to drop), heat a frypan with a light coat of Sunfield cooking spray.


  • When hot, add the chicken and stir-fry till chicken is cooked (white) all the way through.


  • Serve the dahl soup with chicken in the middle and a generous sprinkle of coriander.

        P1050296 P1050300 


Vegetarian for Carnivores – Italian Hotpot

When I’m not working, I spend most of my time with my lovely wife we shall call “Mrs Foodie”. She enjoys baking but generally shies away from other cooking, meaning I am left with the conundrum of what to cook every night. Now at first glance this does not seem much of a mean feat but where the conflict arises is that she’s an ovo-lacto vegetarian (eggs and milk ok) and I love to eat meat. So the majority of my cooking is vegetarian, food hearty enough it can substitute my insatiable desire for meat, or flexible enough that you can add meat to it when it is served.
After a long day’s work it can be hard to muster up the energy to cook and now we are heading into winter it seems there is even less incentive. This is where your trusty friend SOUP comes to the rescue! It’s relatively quick and low fuss, fills you up and comforts you, great as leftovers the next day for lunch or why not freeze for an emergency dinner.

Italian Hotpot
A hearty vegetable soup with the subtle flavour of fennel and heaps of beans for protein and fibre. For the carnivores you can make it super awesome by adding some sausage meatballs.

You need:
A slug of olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 tsp crushed garlic
2 medium size bulbs of fennel (Florence fennel, not the herb), diced
2 zucchini (courgette if you’re French but today we’re Italian), diced
1L vegetable stock
1tsp salt
1tsp ground black pepper
2cans beans (cannellini are good)
1cup dried lentils
1can pasta sauce (~450g), cheap stuff is fine for soup
1/3 c chopped fresh Herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme is good)

6 country pork sausages (optional)
Finely grated parmesan cheese and more fresh herbs to serve

To make:
1. Grab your soup pot/ pressure cooker and sauté onions, garlic and fennel in the olive oil for a few minutes.

Fennel bulb, chop chop chop
Fennel bulb, chop chop chop

2. Hiff everything else in and cook till lentils are soft, I pressure cook for 15 mins.

Everything in the pressure cooker
Everything in the pressure cooker

3. Whilst waiting for the soup, quarter the sausages making little meatballs and pan fry till nicely browned all over.

Mmm sausages, better eat one just to check if they're cooked properly.
Mmm sausages, better eat one just to check if they’re cooked properly.

4. When everything is ready, serve up the soup with meatballs if you please and parmesan/herbs to garnish.

Buon appetito!

Soup's ready!
Soup’s ready!