Tuesday 29 January 2013

Quick and Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

I love lentils and cook with them frequently. I copied the recipe that forms the base of this one from a book many years ago. I can't remember the book any more, and the truth is that the recipe has gone through many iterations over the intervening years. I have added North African flavours and pared the recipe down so that you can now (if you are quick) go from preparation to eating this warming vegetarian soup in as little as 30 minutes!

This warming dish, served with crusty bread makes an ideal winter lunchtime treat. To make it even more North African in flavour why not try adding some spice (ras el hanout or harira would be my choices)?

Quick and Easy Lentil Soup Recipe

Serves: 4–6


225g (8 oz) split red lentils
25g (1 oz) butter (or margarine)
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 carrots, scraped and finely diced
finely-grated zest of 1 lemon
1.2l (5 cups) light vegetable stock
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste


Pick over the lentils then rinse thoroughly and set aside to drain.

Heat your butter or margarine in a saucepan, add the onion and fry gently for about 3 minutes, or until soft but not coloured. Add the diced celery and carrots cover the pan and sweat the vegetables gently for about 8 minutes, or until just tender.

Stir in the lentils then add the lemon zest and stock. Adjust the seasonings to taste, bring to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for about 18 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly then pour into a food processor or blender and process (you may need to do this in batches). For this soup, it is best to leave it a little chunky so that you have some texture.

Return to the pan, allow to heat through then ladle into warmed soup bowls and serve.

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