chorizo and lentil soup

This satisfying bowlful is laced with the warming heat of chorizo to chase away autumn chills - and, best of all, it freezes brilliantly for easy weeknight meals.

serves 4-6, hands-on time 25 min, simmering time 30 min

Make 2-3 days ahead. Cover and chill, then reheat until piping hot to serve. Or freeze in batches (without the parsley and cream) in a sealed container for up to 6 months.

Make it Veggie. Omit the chorizo and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, adding an extra 1 tsp smoked paprika to boost the smoky flavour.

Olive oil for frying
200g cooking chorizo, chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 red peppers, finely chopped
150g red lentils, rinsed
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 litre chicken stock, hot
400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Fresh flatleaf parsley sprigs, soured cream and crusty bread to serve (optional)

Heat a glug of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the chorizo for 5 minutes, stirring, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a plate. Add the onion, carrots and peppers to the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Fry over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times, until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Stir in the lentils and paprika, then add the hot stock. Bring up to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until the veg are soft, adding the beans and chorizo for the final 5 minutes of cooking.

Season to taste, then whizz with a stick blender until the mixture is smooth but there are still a few bigger pieces of chorizo. (Or use a blender with the centre cap removed and a folded tea towel over the hole.)

Serve topped with parsley sprigs, soured cream and crusty bread on the side, if you like.

per serving (for 6): 325kcals, 13.8g fat (4.6g saturated), 18.1g protein, 27.9g carbs (7.3g sugars), 1.7g salt, 8.5g fibre.