Spicy red lentil and carrot soup
The sharp wind over the last 24 hours has reminded us that winter is not yet quite done and dusted so here's a tasty, filling soup to keep out the cold
Time: about 35-40 minutes
Cost: 50-75p a head
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and finely sliced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and finely sliced (optional)
1 level tsp each of ground coriander and cumin*
1/2 level tsp of turmeric*
A pinch of chilli powder* or a few drops of hot chilli sauce (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g red lentils, rinsed and drained
750ml light vegetable stock made with 2 rounded tsp of vegan bouillon powder or an organic stock cube
2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh coriander or parsley.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Stir and fry over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the onion begins to brown. Turn the heat down and add the sliced carrots and celery if using. Stir, cover the pan and leave the vegetables to cook on a low heat until they start to soften (about 7-8 minutes). Add the spices and crushed garlic, stir and cook for a minute then add the red lentils and stock. Stir, bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are well cooked and the lentils soft. Stir in the chopped coriander or parsley and serve.
* Those of you who have already made up a batch of Moroccan spice mix (see Beyond Baked Beans and the other BBB books) can use a level tablespoon of that.