About this recipe:This simple soup is flavoured with warm spices, then blended to a velvety smooth texture. Serve it as a fast and sustaining lunch with warm garlic and coriander naan bread.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
175g split red lentils
1.2 litres vegetable stock
400g can plum tomatoes
2 tsp tomato purée
1 bay leaf
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:40min › Ready in:1hr
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 7–8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the celery and carrot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes with their juice, tomato purée and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then half-cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 25–30 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are very soft.
Meanwhile, stir the coriander into the yoghurt for the garnish.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Blend the soup in the pan using a hand-held blender, or tip into a blender or food processor, process until smooth, then return the soup to the pan. Check the consistency; it will be fairly thick, so if you prefer it thinner, dilute with a little more stock. Season to taste, then reheat until just bubbling. Serve drizzled with some of the coriander yoghurt and sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.
For a spicy lentil and parsnip soup, stir in ¼ tsp crushed dried chillies with the spices and add 225g roughly chopped parsnips instead of the celery.