This is my version of lentil soup, made while on holiday in Tasmania.
I couldn’t think what to make for dinner one night (feeling a bit bereft without my cookbooks) and so while out on a rainforest walk to a waterfall with L in a backpack on her Daddy’s back I resorted to asking my 2 year old for her opinion. L gave it some consideration and then suggested ‘soup’ which was actually quite a perfect suggestion on a rather wintery day.
There are of course lots of versions of tomatoey lentil soup around so I’m sure I’ve garnered this one from many others but I needed to make a version without the easy flavourings of pancetta/bacon and a shaving of hard (cows milk) cheese at the end. This resulted in a more interesting version than I would probably have made without these requirements. The feta added a lovely tangy creaminess and the squeeze of lemon fixed the slightly over zealous salting I engaged in (although on the second sitting a few nights later the saltiness seemed just right).
This quantity served four the first night (with a couple of seconds) and we all had a cup-a-soup as a starter before a big fry up of bacon sandwhiches (with fried eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes) a couple of days later. So it made at least 6 hearty serves.
I made it again tonight (without the chilli) and it went down well with my little one as well as the other ‘big ones’ in the house.
Holiday Lentil Soup
1 large onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
pinch chilli flakes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
800g diced tinned tomatoes
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 x 400g tins of brown lentils
1 litre of chicken stock
handful of chopped parsley (and/or basil leaves)
200g crumbled goats feta
lemon wedges to serve
Gently fry onion, garlic, carrot and celery until soft. Add spices and fry for another minute.
Add tinned tomatoes, paste, lentils and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer (lid on) for 20-30 minutes.
Taste and season as desired. Add the sugar if you think it needs it at this point (I found it mellowed the slight bitterness of the tinned tomatoes)
Stir in half the parsley
Serve scattered with remaining parsley (or basil leaves) and crumbled feta, lemon wedges on the side.