Ways to brighten a grey wintery day:
– Stay in bed a little longer. Heated blanket ON. (No central heating in Australia, folks – that heated blanket has been MONEY this past month.) Check your emails on your phone while doing this – you’re totally getting things done while still lying in bed!
– Make or buy the best dang cup of coffee you can muster. Drink it while watching different versions/parodies of Call Me Maybe on youtube. (Like this one or this one.)
– Do your own version of yoga/stretching/dance aerobics while watching fluffy morning TV. Mute TV occasionally to play Call Me Maybe.
– Bundle up and get outside for a walk. You’ll try and resist this at first (it’s so gloomy out there!) – but you’ll be happy you did.
– Simmer something over the stove for a little while – something a hearty, lentil-packed and a little spicy. Top it with a zippy lemon-scented yogurt and eat while piping hot!
Awww yeah, you’re treating winter right.
Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Harissa (serves 4-6)
adapted from Gourmet Traveller
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– small knob of butter
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 1 medium-large leek, finely chopped
– 2 carrots, finely diced
– 1 celery rib, finely diced
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 cups dry French lentils
– 6 cups (1.5 liters) water, or more if needed.
– 2-3 cups diced Japanese pumpkin (or butternut)
– 1 14-ounce/400-gram can of diced or cherry tomatoes
– 2-3 tablespoons harissa paste, to taste
– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– zest of 1/2 lemon
– handful of chopped coriander
Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over a medium heat until the butter is foaming.
Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden – about 8 minutes.
Add leek, carrot, celery and garlic and cook for another 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally, until soft.
Add lentils and water and cook for 20 minutes over a simmer.
Add pumpkin and tomatoes and cook another 20-30 minutes until everything is tender. Add a bit more water if needed. (I added a splash.)
Stir in harissa paste and cook another 10 minutes.
Combine lemon zest and yogurt and serve over soup with fresh coriander.