Hearty Lentil Soup

Serves: 4 people

Difficulty: Easy

This recipe is full of healthy ingredients and can easily be adapted to suit vegetarians or those who feel they need some meat in their daily meal.

This version only contains veggies, and it’s truly delicious. Full of flavour and easy to make too.

Ingredients

  • 300 g green lentils or any lentils
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli (seeds removed if you like), sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 litres hot vegetable stock
  • 100 g broccoli spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 150 g spinach/rocket, washed and drained
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

1. Wash the lentils in several changes of water and leave to soak whilst you fry the onions.

2. In a heavy based pan gently heat the oil and fry the onions.

3. When they begin to soften and start to colour around the edges, remove a few tablespoons and set aside, leaving the rest in the pan to go a deep golden brown.

4. Remove them from the pan, set them aside and return the softened onions into the same pan.

5. Add the dried red chillies, garlic, most of the fresh red chilli, bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and black peppercorns. Saute for 2 minutes.

6. In the meantime drain the lentils and add them to the pan.

7. After a few minutes, once the garlic has softened and the seeds are toasted, pour in the hot vegetable stock. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Gently boil for around 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Top up with more water/stock if you think it's looking dry.

8. Add in the broccoli spears and cherry tomatoes.

9. After a few minutes stir through the spinach/rocket and most of the lemon juice.

10. Serve in a deep bowl topped with the caramelised onions, reserved fresh sliced red chilli and a little more lemon juice.

Anjali's Tip In case the chilli is a little too hot, I like to serve some thick greek yoghurt on the side which adds a lovely contrast to the piping hot soup.


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