Creamy Lentil Soup for Cold Days

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Here’s a quick one for a really simple and ultra-cheap soup that we’ve had loads recently. Very hearty and warming. Great in a wide necked flask when you’ve got a long drive in the winter (as I often have!).

Creamy Lentil Soup
1 onion (sliced/chopped)
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 thumb of ginger (sliced/matchsticked)
1 stick celery (chopped)
1/2 lemon
3 carrots (peeled and chopped coarsely)
2 heaped teaspoons cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
small pinch crushed chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mild curry powder (Bolsts, of course – see here)
6 handfuls red lentils
salt and lots of black pepper

Fry the onion in oil for a while until soft, then add the garlic, ginger, celery and carrot. Add the halved lemon in it’s entirety (having popped out any loose pips). Toast the seeds and grind before adding to the pan with the lentils, curry powder and the chilli. Stir around for a further two or three minutes before pouring in water from the kettle. Be quite generous with the water as much of it will be absorbed as the lentils swell. Bring to the boil, reduce to a really low simmer and cook with the lid on for about 45-50 minutes. Check the seasoning, and partially blend (or don’t) with a hand-blender, remembering to remove the lemon first (having given it a hard sqash to extract it’s juice). You could drizzle it with olive oil and a bit more lemon and some fresh coriander too if you wanted it to look fancy. Have it with bread. Or don’t.

(George)

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