Wednesday, 4 January 2012

strawberries and squiggles presents wonderful wednesdays

wonderfully spicy tomato and lentil soup

ingredients (makes enough for 2-3 people)
one medium-large red onion
three medium cloves of garlic
300g of red split lentils
one tin of chopped tomatoes
one teaspoon (add more if you like it really spicy) of fresh chopped chillies or from a jar (i use the ready chopped chillies from a jar to save time) 
a good sprinkling of mixed herbs (dried herbs are always perfectly good)
salt and pepper to taste
enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your saucepan

1) roughly chop the red onion, there's no need to be precise as you're going to blend it all up later.

2) softly fry the onion in the olive oil until it goes soft and more see through.

3) whilst that's cooking, chop the garlic. i find that if you first crush the garlic slightly and then chop it, it brings more of the flavour out. (the simplest way to crush it, is to place the blade of your knife flat on top of the garlic clove, and press down firmly onto the flat blade with the palm of your hand.) these are the size garlic cloves i used, but if you're a fan then feel free to garlic it up! (the knife is a small kitchen knife)

4) add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the chopped garlic to the onion and simmer for a few minutes.

5) remove from heat and stir in the lentils so that everything's mixed together.

6) boil the kettle and then add enough hot water to completely cover the lentil mixture plus about an inch of water on top. stir to make sure nothing it stuck to the bottom of the saucepan and then cover with the lid. bring to the boil and then turn down to low heat and simmer for about 15-20 mins, or until the lentils have swollen up and gone all fluffy. (if it's too dry add more hot water at anytime.) stir it every 5 mins so the bottom doesn't burn.
it should look like this when it's cooked

7) add the chopped chillies and stir them in.

8) blend it all up! i use a hand blender, just because i find it easier and it means i don't have to wash up another jug! also, if you like chunkier soup then only blend it roughly for a few seconds. this is naturally quite a thick soup because of the lentils, but you can always add more hot water to thin it if you wish.

9) now add the mixed herbs and a good load of salt and pepper and stir it all in.
this soup goes great with seeded, wholemeal bread cut thickly, or a wholemeal baguette. or, if you're like me and can't eat bread because of wheat or yeast allergies, (or if you fancy a change from bread) then may i suggest ryvita's sesame crispbread :)

thats it! you're done! now serve it up in pretty bowls and enjoy! 

all of my recipes always are, and always will be completely vegan :) x

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