A warming but light vegetarian soup that has both texture and flavour. If you are looking for cheap, nutritious food that is also tasty then this soup is for you.
The lentils thicken the soup to perfection, the chickpeas add texture whilst the coriander and spices lift the flavour.
150g / 5¼oz split red lentils (see Advice section below)
Large can (400g / 14oz) of chick peas (see Advice section below) drained of liquid
Large can (400g / 14oz) of chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 litre / 1.75 pints vegetable stock (fresh or hot water and 2 stock cubes)
Small bunch of fresh coriander
Pinch of chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel, top and tail and finely chop the onion.
Instead of canned chick peas you can substitute dry ones which tend to be cheaper but remember to soak them in water over night.
When you dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes beware of the aroma given off and avoid breathing it in or going into your eyes - it is very pungent as it is frying!
Pour the stock, lentils and tomatoes into the large pan and mix the ingredients well. Let the soup simmer and continue on to the next step
Put the smaller pan on a medium heat and add the chilli flakes and cumin seeds. Dry fry them for a minute or so which will release their flavour and aroma. They are done when they just begin to jump around the pan.STEP 2
Add the olive oil and the onions to the smaller pan and stir well. Fry for eight minutes until the onions have softened turning them every couple of minutes.
Add the contents of the smaller pan (onions and spices) to the larger pan (stock, lentils and tomatoes), stir well and simmer for a further 20 minutes stirring occasionally.STEP 3
Blend the soup to a rough mix using the stick blender or food processor. If you use a stick blender you may need to do this in two goes.
Pour the blended soup back into the pan on a medium heat and stir in the drained chick peas. Heat for a couple of minutes. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to your taste. Serve into warm soup bowls. Sprinkle some of the chopped coriander over each bowl of soup.