I had thought of a soup for almost two weeks and on the actual day i decided to attempt something different.

I hope you shall enjoy.

I would recommend starting this recipe the day before you plan to eat unless
you prepare the soya a day earlier.

It could seem as though i have prepared quite a bit of this meal but the actual amount cooked was enough for 5 sittings and i was able to give some to a friend and some to my neighbours too, which is not particularly easy when a new recipe.

one cabbage
Dried soya
2 medium/largeish fairly strong tasting onions
5-7 medium cloves of garlic
2 vegetable stock cubes (i mixed a lesser expensive stock cube with another)
one beef stock cube (optional)
2.5 tblsp dried curry leaves
one scotch bonnet chilli and two green chillies.
Be careful if using chillies , especially scotch bonnet chillies if you have pets. Do not allow children to handle them please unless supervised. It is adviseable to wear gloves with scotch bonnet chillies and clean any surfaces /floors if you drop them and have pets.

2 large tablespoonfuls of madras curry powder
1 tblsp of ground turmeric
1 heap and one level teaspoonful of ground mixed herbs
one third of a level very small teaspoonful of compounded Asafoetida
1 lime
2 large cups or two mugs of brown lentils
Compounded Asafoetida has turmeric in it but the quantity of the mixture used is very minimal. Asafoetida is used in some regions/ countries widely and often by those who cannot for religious/cultural reasons eat onions or garlic. You would do wisely to look it up on sites such as wiki and i am sure you will be very surprised at what you find.

Salt and pepper

Place the soya into a watertight container and fill to 3″ approximately above the dried soya.

Crumble and add the two vegetable stock cubes and stir with a wooden spoon.
I would advise a soaking time for the soya of at least overnight and in a refrigerator if possible.

Cut the cabbage into halves and remove the core and any outer leaves which may not be suitable and place into a saucepan with some cold water.

Chop the onion and garlic and add that too and stir with a wooden or spoon.

Add all of the herbs and spices (except the optional beef stock

With all of the herbs and spices in with the cabbage and the onions and garlic (chopped finely), if you have a rinder, grate the rind of half of the lime into the mixture (the saucepan should be over heat but not boiling).

Keep your eye on the level of water as the cabbage softens and make sure that the water stays at a reasonable level.

Also squeeze onto the mixture the juice of the whole lime.

If you do not have a rinder or a zester/peeler, carefully slice some of the rind off from the lime and chop it finely and add.

With all of the ingredients in the pot including the asafoetida, gently bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately ten minutes on a low-medium heat. If you haven’t already added the dried mixed herbs, you may want to sprinkle them last at the simmering point.

If you have prepared / soaked your soya in the vegetable stock cubes overnight you can add them at this point. You could also add the soya mixture to the prepared cabbage mixture once removed from the heat and leave it to steep covered for maybe 5 or 6 hours.

Don’t forget to add some salt and pepper to suit your own taste. Not too much salt please. And…….

At this point, you may also add the beef stock cube if you want to.

After the whole mixture has either steeped or after you have combined the soaked soya to the prepared cabbage mixture.

Wash and add the lentils.

Bring to the boil again and simmer until the lentils are quite nicely cooked.

The nutty texture of the lentils is a welcome complement to the soya and cabbage and combined with a rare hint of lime with the spices.

I think it’s quite something nice. ¬†Enjoy!

If you are a meat eater and are not on a diet as such or trying to lose weight, you could try adding some very very thinly sliced strips of cooked beef to this meal.

Or you could wait until you lose the weight you want to lose and cook it again and add some strips of beef anyway as a treat.