Tomato, Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

We recently got snowed into a luxury Castle Spa in Scotland. It was a tough 2 days but we managed to survive. Stobo Castle is an amazing place to visit, near Peebles and it looked stunning in the snow. The Castle driveway was cleared but local roads were too treacherous to risk again, so we were glad that we didn’t need to venture out.

After an arduous journey through snow and ice, we were relieved to finally arrive safely at the Castle. If it wasn’t for the hard working gritter lorry drivers, we would never have got there…..we even followed one up a hill as it ploughed through the ice. As soon as we arrived, it suddenly started snowing heavily again, making the Castle look like it was inside a snow dome but the scene was breathtaking.

We then spent two wonderful days being pampered in the spa and eating the most awesome food! It was pretty tough being snowed in with nothing to eat but gourmet 3 course meals!

We were fortunate that there was a slight thaw in the local roads for a couple of hours before we were due to leave after our fabulous stay, so we managed to start our journey off home ok. We then hit blizzard snow conditions on the motorway, so by the time we did get back, we felt pretty tired and hungry.

Fortunately I had some of my amazing Tomato, Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup stashed in my freezer, which didn’t take long to defrost and serve up, hot and steaming, for 2 hungry spa seekers. Oh WOW, that soup did taste good after our long cold car journey but it certainly warmed us both up.

I’m sharing this wonderful recipe as I firmly believe that the nurturing and warming qualities of my homemade soup are just what you all need in the midst of all this cold snowy weather. I believe the Danish have a great word they use, “hygge” to describe the feeling of enjoying life’s simplest pleasures and coziness. Eating a bowl of this homemade soup is definitely “hygge”.

Weight Watchers can celebrate too as it’s only 2 Smart Points for a BIG bowl and just one extra Smart Point if you garnish with a grilled piece of bacon (all the fat removed). I will probably be eating more of my soup over the next few days as I may have gained a pound or two after our Stobo spa, but it was well worth it.

What more could a girl want after spending 2 days being pampered at a luxury spa?…..well maybe my hubby could install an outdoor hot tub like the ones at Stobo! That was a pretty special experience, sitting under the stars with the snow falling all around us in an outdoor jacuzzi!

If it’s snowing near you, then I recommend you stay in, ramp up the heating and enjoy a warming bowl of this yummy soup…. then hibernate until Spring! If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor hot tub, then jump in later to thaw yourself out. Enjoy xx

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Ingredients
12 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 sticks of chopped celery
1 medium chopped onion
2 medium peeled, chopped sweet potatoes
a cup of rinsed red lentils
Fresh and/or dried herbs
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
5 fresh garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of ketchup
1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic granules
A cup of fresh ham stock or 2 ham stock cubes
Enough extra hot water from the kettle to cover everything

Method

I put all the ingredients into my Instant Pot (Digital Pressure Cooker) and cooked on Manual for 4 min followed by 15 minute Natural Pressure Release then Manual Pressure Release.

You can also simmer on the hob in a covered stock pot for around 25 min.

Blend using a hand held blender, once cooked.

Serve garnished with some herbs and a crumbled grilled bacon rasher (fat removed) plus a big chunk of homemade bread to dunk in!

You can also make using fresh vegetable stock or stock cubes if you are vegetarian and just garnish with herbs.

Either version will taste delicious. The sweet potatoes make the soup extra thick and creamy in texture. I am sure it will warm you up nicely.

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