Time for a forage in woods and on shore

Carrot, red lentil and cumin soup

Carrot, red lentil and cumin soup

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The clocks have moved on which means it is easier to get into the woods and on to the shore to do some foraging.

For those who know the right places, wild garlic is carpeting the floor and there is sea beet on the foreshore.

I take the terriers with me on my walks around Chichester Harbour and into some beautiful woods in Hampshire. At times I’m out longer than I intended.

We might seea herd of deer, spot a new patch of herbs or glimpse a particularly colourful woodpecker.

It is at times like this I wish I’d filled a flask with hot soup as the evening draws in and the sun quickly loses it spring warmth.

A thick lentil soup that does not take ages to make is what is required when I get back with bags full of foraged goodies.

Here is a recipe which not only fits the bill but is gluten and dairy-free if you use vegetable stock.

Why not fill your flasks, take a chunk of bread and enjoy these spring walks for a little longer than you intended.

Carrot, red lentil and cumin soup

Ingredients

1 onion finely chopped

4 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

1 stick celery chopped

1 small leek chopped

Teaspoon cumin

Pinch saffron

Knob ginger peeled and chopped

100g red lentils

500ml vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and pepper

Oil to cook

Method

1. Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil.

2. Cook the vegetables, onion and garlic for five minutes without colouring.

3. Add the cumin and ginger and cook for one minute.

4. Stir in the lentils, saffron and add the stock.

5. Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils soften.

6. Liquidise, taste and season. If you like a fine textured soup pass through a fine sieve.

7. Serve with crusty bread.

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