Inside-out guest blog - Soph's Roasted Carrot and Lentil Soup

Sophie and I met when I was about 24 and we both worked at what was then Q103FM in Cambridge. It is the least money I've ever earnt in my entire life but it was absolutely the most fun. We were blessed with a brilliant crowd of colleagues and the fact our path's crossed at the perfect time.

Both being single, she, I and our friends Amy and Sabina (sometimes Bryony too) would head out into Cambridge town most weekends alongside the gaggle of boys who frequented the Red Lion pub in Histon, just down the road from where I lived. (I also have an enduring memory of her red faced and cursing me when she'd casually agreed to run with me one morning, after one of these night's out). 

There was a lot of dancing, laughing, flirting and fun.. and the odd difficult next morning in the studio, where we would have to carefully time a mad green-faced dash to the toilets between songs. A live radio studio is not the place for a hangover, let me tell you. But then, I can almost guarantee that most radio presenters have been there at some point.

Anyway, we are (ahem) obviously very much more mature now and these days Sophie presents a show on BBC Radio Oxford like the proper grown up she (usually) now is. 

She also - happily for you - readily accepted my challenge to provide  this month's Inside Out and has conjured up a seasonally-appropriate soup recipe to warm your cockles and comfort your tummy (the polar opposite to how we felt on those regretful studio hangover days!). 

Serves 4
  • 6 large carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tomato
  • 800ml chicken stock (can be substituted for veg stock to make this vegetarian)
  • 100g red lentils (can be subbed with 1 tin cooked lentils)
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 200c
  2. Put the carrots, garlic and tomato in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 mins.
  3. Tip into a food processor and blend to a thick paste.
  4. Put into a saucepan over a medium heat and stir in the stock.
  5. Bring to the boil and add the lentils and cumin seeds, simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked (if using the tinned lentils, the soup's ready to go when you put that in!)
  6. Season and serve with crusty bread. 
Sophie's Bio 
I live 6 disappointing miles short of the Cotswolds with my husband and sons and when I'm not talking on the radio or reading the news I love to cook!
The whole family's obsessed, even my 8 year old makes dinner and one of my big passions is making delicious things out of food that would otherwise go to waste.
This soup is one of them, a bit of a moveable feast that you could use most sad-looking root veg to make. Happy tummy, happy bin, happy planet! 
Soph with her son and family eating crab sarnie on a beach front - landscape crop
Here we are, enjoying crab sarnies on the beach in Tenby.
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