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Spicy, Nourishing Lentil Soup Recipe
A lovely warming Winter soup that is quick, easy to prepare - incredibly cheap and very, very, very tasty - it really is one of my favorites and I love to serve it with hot buttered toast to dunk in it and wipe up every last drop of this wonderful and nutritious soup.
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When there's a frost in the air and you fancy something quick, homemade and nourishing I love to have a steaming bowl of Lentil Soup to warm you through and through.
Low Fat and High Energy
Lentil dishes are very popular with vegetarians as they are a great source of protein, they're low in fat and they support your body through high amounts of physical activity and provides a high hit of dietary fibre. The carbohydrates in lentils are slow-burning meaning you'll feel fuller longer and it's slow-burning non sugar means that it helps prevent sugar fluctuations which is good news for those who either have too much sugar in their diet or who are Diabetic.
Two other essential aspects of lentils is that if stored away from heat in an airtight container they last for up to a year, and secondly they are incredibly cheap to buy. And you don't have to eat the same lentils at each meal they come in a variety of different types, sizes, colours and textures meaning that you can vary each lentil meal just by just changing the type that you purchase.
8oz / 225g Red Lentils
2 large Organic Onions, roughly chopped
2-3 small Organic Carrots, grated
2 cloves of Organic Garlic, crushed
2-3 pints of Vegetable Stock
¼-½ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1-2 teaspoons of Cumin
2 tablespoons of Oil
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
How to make Lentil Soup:
One of my friends recently said that she thought making soup was too difficult and time-consuming and that she preferred canned soup anyway, after pottering around in the kitchen with me on Saturday she has now changed her mind. If like her you think that soup making is difficult this is the recipe for you, it really couldn't be easier and I hope you'll give it a try.
The first thing to do is rinse the lentils until the water runs clear, if you don't rinse all the impurities out of the lentils you will end up with a scum forming on the top of the water while the soup is cooking.
I find the easiest and most effective way to do this is to put them in a bowl and slowly fill it with water, the water pouring into the bowl will churn up the impurities and so now if you slightly tilt the bowl the unclear water will pour away into your sink. I've tried rinsing them by placing them in a sieve but I find the bowl method more effective.
The lovely thing about making this soup is that you are going to blitz it all at the end so you don't have to worry about how fine you chop your onions as it will all end up as a smooth soup in the end.
- Next prep your vegetables by roughly chopping your onions, crush your garlic cloves and grating (yes grating) your carrots. If you like your soup to be sweet then add more or larger carrots, I prefer my soup to taste more of lentils so I stick to smaller sized carrots.
- In a large pot add the oil and gently heat.
- Saute the onions till they are soft and translucent.
- Add the cayenne and cumin and fry gently so that the spices release their oils and coat the onions - the smell at this point is always heavenly.
- Add the crushed garlic and grated carrots and gently cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the rinsed lentils.
- Add the stock.
- Add salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to give it some more depth of heat.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Take the soup off the heat.
- Taste your soup and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Using a handheld blender blitz the soup until you have a smooth texture. If you prefer your soup a little chunkier then take a few ladles of the soup out before you blitz it and then return it when you are finished.
- Don't forget to re-taste your soup and adjust the seasoning before serving.
I love to serve this soup with Garlic & Coriander Naan breads, a swirl of double cream and some finely chopped parsley or coriander.
You can use a food processor/blender to puree the soup but I find it much easier to use a handheld blender and of course it takes only a moment to clean the handheld version. I've had my handheld blender for 6 years now and it is one of my most used pieces of equipment in the kitchen and worth every penny.