I made this soup out of the normal ‘base’ vegetables and what I had available. Hence no fresh coriander, which I would have added at the end, if I had had some. This quantity will feed 2-3 people:
- 2 tbs cooking oil
- 1 medium onion (sliced)
- 1 medium carrot (sliced)
- 1 celery stick (sliced)
- 1 clove of garlic (sliced/roughly chopped)
- 1 large chilli (green or red: cored, deseeded and chopped)
- 2 pieces of dried lemongrass (chopped)
- 3 kaffir lime leaves (crumbled)
- 2 generous teaspoons of Thai curry paste (green or red)
- 50g creamed coconut (the hard block sort, crumbled)
- 200g good quality tinned of chopped tomatoes (ie 1/2 a tin)
- 800 ml water
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder (or stock cube equivalent)
- 120g red split lentils (washed under the cold tap in a sieve)
- 1 bundle of fine rice noodles (c. 60g)
- zest and juice of 1/2 lime
Heat the cooking oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chilli, lemon grass and the kaffir lime leaves. Mix the ingredients well, turn down the heat and stir frequently over a lowish heat for about five minutes.
Add the curry paste, creamed coconut (crumble in), chopped tomatoes, water, 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.
Break up the noodles and stir into the soup. Heat the soup until it just starts to boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and grated zest. At this point the soup is 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, the thick soup saves space).
This is good to eat on a cold winter’s day! Adapted from a recipe in Waitrose’s ‘Harvest 2015’ booklet. Enough for 4 people:
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
- 3cm cube of ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
- 2 large carrots (diced)
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 250g red split lentils
- 160ml can of coconut cream
- 550ml vegetable stock
- 100g frozen peas
- 50g chopped almonds
- 2 large tomatoes (skinned, deseeded and chopped)
- Torn fresh coriander
- Lemon juice (to taste)
- Flat breads (heated in accordance with the instructions on the packet)
Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chilli, and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add the curry powder, lentils, coconut cream and the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer (covered) for about 20 minutes (until the carrots and the lentils are soft). Take off the heat and roughly mash the mixture with a potato masher.
Add the peas and the chopped almonds, and gently cook for a further 5 minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes and add lemon juice to taste.
Sprinkle with coriander and serve with warm flat breads.
I made this with chicken stock (previously made from a carcass). For vegetarians, vegi-stock powder would be a good substitute. Serves 4:
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 1 large celery stick (sliced)
- 1 large carrot (sliced)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 red chilli (deseeded)
- 150g red lentils (rinsed in a sieve under running water)
- 200g chopped tomatoes (half of a normal sized tin)
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2 tbsp double cream
- Lemon juice and black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and chilli. Stir, cover, and allow to cook gently for 8 minutes.
Add the lentils, tomatoes and the stock. Stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes (until the lentils are soft and carrots are cooked).
Remove from the heat, and blend using a hand blender or a liquidiser. Stir in the cream and bring to the boil while stirring. Remove from the heat as soon as the soup starts to boil. Add lemon juice and black pepper to taste, and serve.
I served this with croutons.