Nothing beats a hearty and warming soup on a wet and windy day, and seen as the sunny weather doesn't seem to be making an appearance any time soon, I thought I'd share one of my favourite homemade soup recipes that I've been developing.
I've always loved using lentils and other pulses in cooking to bring a different texture to a dish, but having recently discovered brown lentils, they have quickly become my go-to choice. They're brilliant for soups and stews as they retain enough of their shape and bring a lovely nutty flavour to the dish, whilst picking up spices really well. You can pick them up in any world food sections of the supermarkets.
My Spiced Brown Lentil Soup is super easy to make and full of flavour. And best of all it's pretty darn healthy! What's not to like? Give it a try and let me know what you make of it.
Serves 6-8 lunches
- Splash of rapeseed oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 400 grams dried brown lentils, rinsed
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1.5 litres of stock (I usually go with 1 litre vegetable, 1/2 litre chicken)
- 1 teaspoon tomato puree
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 1 heaped teaspoon of paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of coriander
- 3 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a splash of rapeseed oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until translucent.
Add the finely diced carrot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrot is nicely cooked.
Add the tomato puree and cook out for a minute.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir then bring to a simmer.
Put the lid on the pan and leave on a rolling simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. Stir a couple of times throughout, and remove any scum off the surface.
Once the lentils are cooked, the soup will be a fairly thick consistency but you'll want to give it a quick whizz with a stick blender to give it a slightly creamy consistency. Take the pan off the heat and make sure you remove the bay leaves before doing this.
Using a stick blender, whizz the mixture a couple of times to thicken. You still want the majority of the lentils to be in tact (as shown in the photo above).
Season to taste then you're ready to serve.
This soup keeps in the fridge well for a week, but it's freezes very well so don't be afraid to batch up. Let me know how you get on and, as ever, if you do enjoy the recipe, do let me know how you get on, and be sure to tag me on instagram or twitter. Happy cooking!