Spicy lentil soup


Served here with croutons and fresh coriander.

This quantity will feed at least four people and with hunks of wholemeal bread makes a excellent supper:

  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 large onion (sliced)
  • 1 medium carrot (sliced)
  • 1 large celery stick (sliced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (sliced/roughly chopped)
  • a good pinch of chilli flakes (more if you like it hot)
  • a piece of fresh ginger (about 2cm square – chopped)
  • a good pinch of mixed herbs (or oregano or something similar)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (plus twice as much water)
  • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder (or stock cube equivalent)
  • 150g orange split lentils (washed under the cold tap in a sieve)
  • 2 tbs double cream
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chilli, ginger, herbs and turmeric. Mix the ingredients well, turn down the heat and stir frequently over a lowish heat for about five minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, the water, the stock powder and the lentils. Stir well, bring to the boil and simmer for about thirty minutes.

Blend the soup – in a liquidiser, food processor, or use a hand blender (my preference because it is so much easier to clean than a liquidiser or food processor) in the saucepan.

Stir in the cream and heat the soup until it just starts to boil. Add  the lemon juice and pepper to taste. At this point the soup is still very thick. You can add some cold water which will reduce the overall temperature so that it can be eaten immediately (if you are freezing it, it saves space).

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