I’ve always preferred chunky soups to the smooth blended variety because I like a bit of texture to my soup. This soup is a beautiful way of getting in between a chunky soup and a smooth soup as the lentils break down to create a creamy texture but they also keep some bite to them.
I think the topping to a soup is just as important as the soup itself, being creative with the toppings can transform both taste and texture significantly. For example I used some walnuts as croutons in my recent mushroom and celeriac soup, or you can use fresher ingredients as I have here to create a light, healthy and vibrant finish to the soup.
Garlic, ginger and lemon work perfectly with red lentils and are great for this time of year when your fighting off a cold or feeling a bit blue from the colder weather. You should have no need for lemsips and cough sweets if you eat this soup regularly 🙂
I wasn’t sure Scott would enjoy this soup as he said it looked like lentil porridge however after eating a big bowl of it I was really happy because he said he thought it was delicious and actually tasted a bit like chicken soup! Another husband approved vegan dish for the repertoire 🙂
The best way to eat this is to stir the topping through the soup and then enjoy piping hot! It tastes even better the next day.
Serves 6 – 8 (freezable)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 thumb sized piece Ginger
1 Red Chilli
1 tblspn Cumin Seeds
300g Red Lentils
1.5 litres Vegetable Stock
1 Lemon (Juice)
Salt and Pepper
For the toppings-Large handful Spinach per person
1 Tomato per person
1 tspn Paprika
1 Lemon thinly sliced
To prepare your veg – Peel then finely dice the onions. Peel and crush or finely slice the garlic. Peel and roughly chop the ginger. Slice the chilli (I leave the seeds in but depends how hot it is).
In a large saucepan heat some oil/ butter/ Veg stock (whatever your sautéing weapon of choice is) and add the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger and cook over a medium heat for approx 6 mins. Add the cumin seeds and stir for another 1 minute to allow their flavour to come out from the heat.
Add the lentils to the pan, stir then add the vegetable stock. Put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down to low and leave for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile take a frying pan and heat a little dash of oil. Chop your tomatoes roughly and wash the spinach then add both to the pan with the paprika and a little salt if desired and stir untill the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes are soft and their juice has reduced slightly.
Check on your soup – once cooked the lentils will have expanded and will be soft but still with a little bit of bite to them.
Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and give it a good stir then serve in large bowls topped with some spinach and tomato mix and a couple of slices of fresh lemon.
We woke up to snow this morning (in the UK that is always a big deal!). It took me an hour and a half to drive a 20 minute journey to work and there was probably 2cm of snow if that 🙂 anyway the combination of snow and me seeing the coca cola truck advert last night means it is now officially christmas in my mind!!