How could I forget such lovely winter warmers?

As the weather goes back to being rather chilly the family are asking for soups for lunch to keep warm, so we have been experimenting with a few different recipes including a lovely Tom Kerridge recipe for vegetable & lentil soup.

I have never been a big fan of lots of different pluses but having a few in the shop I decided I should try them and see if I could get the family interested in cooking with them and eating them.

The main thing that has put me off is that many of them need soaking overnight, so I have taken a bit of time to plan meals and as part of the planning been able to soak and prepare some of the lovely pluses in store. For example, the organic chickpeas that have a skin on them but with soaking these come off and leave a lovely chickpea ready for adding to stews and soups or better still making a lovely tasting humus.

An easy start was the lentils as they don’t need soaking but add a lovely texture and heartiness to the soups. And I am not sure how I forgot that pearl barley adds something to a hearty winter stew, along with the herbs and the odd dumpling.

I have been encouraged by friends who are vegetarian and vegan and loved finding new recipes and tastes to try. A great way to enjoy winter warmers.

If you want to try something new have a look at the BBC website for lots of recipes.