Spicy Lentil Soup

This is my go-to lentil soup.  It’s got lots of interesting flavour but it’s not spicy enough to put off those of us who are not such adventurous eaters, or my kids!  Great family food.

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
  • 250g red lentils
  • 1.5 litres veg stock (I like Kallo)
  • tin of plum tomatoes, liquidized

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the chopped vegetables.  Get them sizzling then turn the heat down low, cover them and leave them to sweat for about 15 mins, stirring every now and then.  You want them to be nice and soft.  I find by the time I’ve prepared all the other bits to go in they are perfect.

Crush the garlic, wash the lentils, liquidize the tomatoes.  When the veg is ready add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for a further minute, stirring.  Then stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 mins.  Season.  That’s it!

It’s a very simple soup really.  You can jazz it up a bit by adding some harissa paste OR if you really want to push the boat out toast and grind your own spices.  You will notice the difference in the flavour!  For this quantity I use a level tablespoon each of cumin seeds and coriander seeds, put them in a really hot non stick frying pan and shake them over the heat for 30-40 seconds.  Throw them straight into a pestle and mortar (have it ready!) and grind them up.  I highly recommend.

Everyone’s got their own favourite lentil soup recipe – how do you eat yours?

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2 responses

  1. My Homesick Fix | Reply

    I grew up eating lentils and still love them to this day/ My grandmother made them religiously. I’ll have to try to find her recipe but one of my fondest memories was my grandmother laying out a towel on our kitchen table and watching he meticulously searching through all of the beans for stones. I don’t think she ever found one.

    1. I very very rarely find stones either! I have to admit that with red lentils like these I tend to just swirl my hand around them when washing to find any debris. Thanks for sharing that story about your grandmother 😊

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