About this recipe:Nothing beats a hearty lentil soup. the dried mushrooms add a real depth of flavour and, although they're expensive, you only need a small quantity.
15g dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried
90g brown or green lentils, rinsed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:30min › Ready in:1hr
Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 250ml boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes until softened, then drain in a sieve with a double layer of kitchen paper, reserving the soaking liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook gently for 7–8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is golden.
Stir in the mushrooms and their soaking liquid, the tomatoes with their juice, the ginger, tarragon and 500ml water. Add the lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25–30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Season to taste.
*This recipe can be made ahead, then chilled or frozen. Thaw, if necessary, then reheat gently, adding a little water if too thick. *You could use red split lentils, but they tend to cook down to a purée, whereas the brown and green varieties hold their shape.