Credit:Tara Narayan

Elliot’s Recipe Corner

As the final term of the year comes to a close, depending on our course and year, we are left scrambling to pack up our lives to head home for the long vacation, and if unfortunate enough we must also prepare for examinations. There is precious little time to spare for even the most necessary things- between revision, final problem sheets and tutorial essays, and seeing friends before parting ways for the summer, taking the time to cook for oneself is at best a luxury and at worst impossible. 

At the same time, we have not been lucky enough to reap the usual rewards of Trinity – namely, glorious sun and the myriad outdoor activities that follow – because of the unusually overcast spring. So, although it is the beginning of June and arguably the official beginning of summer, I offer soup. 

This single-serving lentil soup requires almost no preparation and is quick enough to whip up in an hour between tutorials. You can enjoy whatever additions you have on hand- I find chopped carrots add some substance if they are available, and this also goes well reheated with fried eggs for a cozy breakfast. 

20-minute lentil soup

  • Two handfuls red lentils
  • 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 shallot (or ½ onion), diced
  • 1 clove finely sliced garlic
  • 2 cups stock
  • Dash of chili flakes, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Parsley to top

Although this is a wonderfully simple one-pot recipe, washing lentils as a first step is non-negotiable. Two medium-sized handfuls of red lentils should yield a respectable single serving, and these are easily prepared by placing the lentils into a saucepan and rinsing them repeatedly with cool water until it runs clear. 

Add the pot with rinsed lentils to the stove on medium heat with olive or coconut oil, and once warm, toss in the chopped garlic and shallot. Onions are an easy substitute if they are on hand, but shallots are equally easy to find in Tesco or Sainsbury’s and provide a richer flavor. Additionally, be sure to add salt, pepper, and chili flakes here.

Once the shallots are soft, add the stock- this step is accelerated by boiling water in a kettle ahead of time so that it is already warm. Once the stock boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 

When the lentils are cooked through, remove the pot from the heat and serve the soup. Top with coarsely chopped parsley and the juice of ½ a lemon.