We Love Cooking! + [vegetable stock]

:: Boot Camp Soup and back to business!

September is always one of those months like January where the slate is wiped clean and it's time to start all over again. The kids are back at school and students back to college, and professional nomads like myself are back to reality! Between all our moving around over the summer months, things were a little chaotic especially when it came to food. Normal routine went out the window, replaced by irregular eating times and extra helpings of desserts - a good dollop of cream with everything. You could definitely say I indulged over the last few months and unfortunately, I'm not exactly feeling the better of it!

Since we arrived back in Ireland however, things are back on track, the kitchen is stocked with fruit and veggies and all my essential storecupboard ingredients have been replenished. As amazing as it is to travel, there really is nothing like being back home in your own kitchen.

With the winter months fast approaching, the inclination to stay inside and out of the cold becomes all the more tempting, so instead of dodging the weather and waiting until the New Year, I'm heading outdoors and getting active! All this new healthy living will take it's toll, mind you, so luckily I have a few healthy, filling recipes up my sleeve to stave off starvation and make sure I'm getting all the good stuff. This recipe comes from my book Good Mood Food: Simple, Healthy, Homecooking, it's the perfect little pick me up for those cold winter days - packed with nutrients from start to finish and full of flavour!

Boot Camp Soup
This a surprisingly tasty soup, which is wonderfully cleansing. Used originally as part of a weight-loss diet, I make it regularly as a really substantial lunch. This recipe makes a generous amount – I freeze half the soup and keep the rest in the fridge.

Serves 8
3 onions, chopped into chunks
2 green peppers, chopped into chunks
1 bunch of celery, chopped into chunks
1 iceberg lettuce, chopped into chunks
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
800ml/1½ pints vegetable stock
300g/10½oz lentils or soup mix
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Add all the ingredients to a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat
and simmer for 20–30 minutes until the lentils are soft.
Blend the soup to a smooth consistency with a hand blender; you may
need to add a little extra stock if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and
pepper, and serve.