Red lentils and vegetables are cooked slowly until they are very soft, then they are blended to give a rich and velvety consistency. This tasty soup is suitable for vegetarians and freezes very well.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 potato, peeled and diced
250g / 9oz / 1¼ cups split red lentils
750ml / 1¼ / 2¾ cups near boiling vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Cayenne pepper to taste
Salt and ground black pepper
If using a slow cooker turn on to a high heat setting.
Peel and dice the potato, chop the onion and celery and slice the carrot. Crush or chop the garlic cloves.
In times long gone by lentils were grown in the UK. Unfortunately they no longer are grown here but their use as a cooking ingredient is vastly under-rated in many countries. As far as taste is concerned they absorb flavour extremely well and spread it evenly throughout soups, stews, casseroles and many other dishes.
As far as economy is concerned they are superb value for money. They bulk out more expensive recipes whilst at the same time providing excellent nutritional value. Their combination of being high in good fibre and potassium make them one of the best cholesterol beaters of all time.
They are high B vitamins, iron, folate, magnesium and at the same time contain many essential trace elements.
Our recipe slow cooks them either in a slow cooker or at a low heat on the hob. This allows the delicate flavours of the herbs and spices to merge into a perfect flavour. We then suggest blending the lentils because you end up with a rich velvet smooth soup.
Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
Frying onions for Lentil Soup
Stir in the celery, carrot, garlic and potato.
Cook for a further 5 minutes, then transfer the ingredients to the cooking pot.
Add celery, carrot, garlic and potato
Add the lentils, vegetable stock and bay leaves and mix well to combine.
Cover the cooker with the lid and cook on high for 1 hour. Switch to low heat after this time and cook for a further 2 - 3 hours or until the vegetable and lentils are soft and tender.STEP 4
Remove the bay leaves and dispose of them.
Remove bay leaves
Process the soup with a food processor or blender until smooth.
Blend Lentil Soup
Tip the soup back into the cleaned cooking pot, stir in the cumin and cayenne pepper, season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Cook the soup on high for a further 45 minutes, or until piping hot, check the seasoning.
Ladle into a warmed bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.