My family all love making soup, consequently we are prolific soup makers. In short, my parents taught me how to make a great bowl of soup, it was a staple part of my diet growing up. My parents had a huge vegetable garden and as a result we ate fresh seasonal produce, hence lots of soup. The smell of Scotch Broth bubbling on the stove-top immediately evokes memories of my Dad cooking broth on a Saturday night for Sunday’s lunch.
Hence to this day I continue to make lots of soup on a weekly basis. After all is there a better way to load in extra vegetables for our 5-a-day? Given the choice for lunch, more often than not I have a pan of soup at the ready. Furthermore, soup is the perfect food to serve on a night where I’m juggling dinner between children’s activities and my husband coming home from work. Always homemade as I can’t abide tinned soup.
My youngest daughter is challenging to cook for (I’m putting this very politely). She loves lentil soup, there was a time when she would only eat soup if it was orange. I’m glad she settled on this colour as it’s surprising just how much soup you can make that has a good orange hue to it! However, we were all getting a bit fed up with basic lentil so I decided to spice things up a bit.
This soup is a basic tomato and lentil soup, however I’ve added some lovely spice to boost the taste. I’ve blitzed the soup so that the tomato isn’t evident as I wanted everyone eating!
A creamy element can be added to the soup therefore softening the spice. Simply stir through a spoon of yogurt before serving, alternatively use coconut milk if following a Vegan diet.
spicy tomato & lentil soup
A creamy tomato and lentil soup with a good punch of spice, perfect for crisp autumn days when the weather is just that bit chilly outside.
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 sticks celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 5 cm root ginger grated
- 2 red chillies de-seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 400 g tin plum tomatoes
- 150 g red lentils washed and drained
- 1 ltr vegetable stock
- salt & pepper to season
Heat the sunflower oil in a large soup pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute gently for 5 minutes taking care to soften but not brown the vegetables.
Add the garlic, ginger and chilli to the pan and continue to saute gently for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the dry spices to the pan and stir well to combine. Cook for 1 minute until the spices start to release their aroma.
After a good rinse under cold water, add the lentils and the tinned tomatoes to the pan along with the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to the boil before turning down to a simmer and covering with a lid. Stir the soup from time to time to avoid it sticking. The soup should cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils have softened.
Once cooked, blitz the soup with a stick blender. Season to taste and serve when ready.
If you wish to add a creamy element to this soup, you can stir through either a spoon of natural yogurt or if following a vegan or dairy-free diet, a spoon of coconut milk, just before serving.
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