John's sweet potato and lentil soup with flatbreads
John Whaite's got the perfect Monday meal, especially if you over-indulged at the weekend and want to start the week healthily - not to mention cheaply. What's more, it's quick to rustle up and yummy.
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
For the Soup:
500g sweet potatoes
3 heaped tbsp red curry paste
1.5 litres stock of your choice
350g red split lentils
Juice of 2 limes
Coarse black pepper and sea salt flakes
For the Flatbreads:
200g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
1. Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into 1cm cubes. Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear.
2. Heat a large saucepan or casserole – one you have a lid for – over a high heat. Add the red curry paste and stir-fry for just 1 minute, until it becomes strongly aromatic. Quickly add the potato and lentils and stir to coat in the paste, then pour in the stock. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook with a lid on for 35–40 minutes, just until the lentils and sweet potato are soft.
3. Ladle the soup into a food processor, or use an immersion blender to blitz until smooth and thick. If the soup is really thick, add a little water. Return to the pan and add a generous pinch of pepper and a pinch of salt, if required. Add the lime juice and stir in before serving.
4. To make the bread: Mix the flour with 1 teaspoon of salt and the lager. Bring together into a rough dough, then knead on the countertop for a few minutes or until smooth. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Divide the dough equally into four. On a lightly floured worktop, roll out each portion of dough to a circle about 20cm in diameter. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and, once hot, add the flatbreads, one at a time, and fry for a minute or until the topside becomes slightly bumpy. Flip the flatbread over and fry the other side for a minute or so more. You do not want the flatbreads to be burned, but a little charring is fine.
6. If you are cooking on gas, remove the flatbread from the pan – with kitchen tongs – and place it directly onto the flame for 10 seconds. It should swell up slightly. Serve with the soup.
TIP: This soup freezes well and will keep for up to six months in an airtight container, or portioned in ziplock bags. Defrost and reheat thoroughly before serving.