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Chilly Day Lentil Soup

A comforting favourite for a cool evening (many of us will have a standby tin in the cupboard – yes, that commercial and sugary ‘cream of’ kind). I don’t know about you but I think that a bowl of soup should provide more than 1 of your 5 a day. This will give you a few with additional healing, immune-boosting spices and all-important micronutrients. It is incredibly quick and easy to make, with a bit of deconstructed Worcestershire sorcery provided by the tamarind, sweet onion and garlic (a great mix to apply to a mustardy rarebit as well). The ‘cream’ comes from a little rice flour or cooked basmati which really does the trick. Equally comforting, more filling, and brimming with good stuff. A good excuse to devote a very little bit more time and up the satisfaction.

Ingredients

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
3 small cloves of sliced garlic
1 small chopped onion
2 chopped celery stalks
Around 10 small, ripe vine tomatoes
A handful of red lentils
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 pinch of red chilli flakes / cayenne pepper / chilli powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp of cider vinegar
2 tsp of dried organic vegetable bouillon
A sieve full of baby spinach / ¼ of a shredded head of seasonal cabbage
1 tbsp of rice flour / a handful of cooked basmati rice
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • 1 In a food processor, blitz the garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, celery, onion, tamarind, coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric and rice flour / cooked rice. Blitz to a coarse paste
  • 2 Spoon your paste into a saucepan and stir on a medium heat for 4 /5 minutes
  • 3 Add your tomato paste, cider vinegar and bouillon and cover with water until you have the consistency of a thin soup (it will thicken with the lentils and rice)
  • 4 Bring to the boil and simmer for an hour or so. Season generously with sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 Add your spinach leaves or shredded cabbage and simmer for a further ten minutes or so. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil