I'm rather fond of lentils... always have been. I especially like lentil soup. When I was a child, my mother had a hard time getting me to eat anything else for a while. It's a wonder that I didn't grow up orange. Perhaps the green from all the peas I ate balanced it out somehow. Anyway, despite my lentil soup obsession, I'd never tried to make it myself until this evening. Of course, I'm ruined now... I shan't even be able to sniff the tinned stuff without fainting in disgust.
This is a thick and spicy lentil soup, perfect for cold winter evenings (which is obviously why I made it in the middle of the summer), and it will feed four... unless I'm coming for supper... in which case the whole lot will disappear mysteriously and loud slurping noises will be heard coming from your garden for about an hour.
8 oz (225 g) split red lentils, rinsed
1 oz (25 g) butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp ground coriander
2 pts (1150 ml) vegetable stock (made from Marigold Swiss bouillon powder)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Begin by melting the butter in a heavy-based pan. Add the ginger, allspice, cumin, chilli powder, curry powder, ground coriander and onion and cook on a low heat for about 3 minutes. Next, add the chopped carrots and parsnip, give everything a stir, then allow them to sweat for 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the lentils, add the lime juice and stock and give everything a seasoning of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Above: Just after the stock is added.
Below: After simmering for 15-20 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender and give it a whoosh. It should be smooth, but not too smooth. Return to the pan and reheat gently, then serve immediately... with a sprinkling of cheese if you feel like it.
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK