RECIPE: Lentil Soup

This winter warmer is flavoured with cumin and coriander alongside red lentils and vegetables, perfect for a cold day.

Soups: basic principles

• Almost any vegetable can be used in a soup
• Fry onion in oil or butter over a medium high heat. Do not heat the oil first, heat together. Only stir when the onions start to colour (the sugar in the onion starts to caramelise and cause the browning. Repeat until golden brown, this give good flavour
• If a paler soup is required heat on a lower setting and do not brown the onions
• Add garlic, if using, and fry very lightly until translucent. If burned it can become bitter
• Add diced or sliced vegetables to the pan
• Add liquid – this can be water, stock (meat, fish or vegetable) and any chopped tomatoes
• Add any herbs and spices
• Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked
• Liquidise or leave as a chunky soup
• Season with salt and pepper

Lentil Soup
Feeds 4-6 / Freezer Friendly

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
225g / 8 oz lentils – little orange ones cook quickest,
or use brown ones soaked overnight
1 × 400g / 1 lb tin chopped tomatoes
1.7 litres / 3 pints vegetable or chicken stock
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Pour the oil into a large saucepan set over a medium high heat, add the onions
and fry until golden brown.
2. Add the garlic and fry briefly until translucent, taking care not to let it burn.
3. Add the spices and fry for a minute or two longer.
4. Add the carrots and coat in the oil and spice mixture.
5. Add the lentils.
6. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, then add the fresh coriander and
cook until the lentils are soft and mushy.
7. Blitz with a handheld blender or a liquidiser.
8. If it is too thick, add a little boiling water to achieve the correct consistency.
9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Rosalind’s tips

1. Soup needs to have some flavour and the fried onions will give you this. You can also use fried leeks if preferred.

2. This soup is delicious served hot or cold. If cold, you may need to thin it down with a little veg or chicken stock or even milk, so that it is not the texture of baby food.

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