My plan for January was to hunker down with Martha Stewart's cake bible and bake. I reasoned that swaddled in huge thick sweaters to keep warm in this ghastly climate a few pounds wouldn't be noticeable. Then a funny thing happened, out of the blue I developed a craving for vegetables in a rather major way. When my family ask the inevitable "What's for dinner?" question, my reply is "vegetables." It hasn't gone down particularly well with all of them. I had to cave in last night and cook steak but only a small one with a mountain of vegetables on the side.
Although this is a lentil soup it's packed with veggies. I have to confess that this is the first time I've made soup with water as its base instead of stock. I'm amazed - there's simply no need for stock - at least with this soup. All the wonderful spices and yes - vegetables provide the most delicious flavor. The juice of a lime and fresh cilantro at the end seals the deal.
Red Lentil Soup.
This makes a lot of soup, so either fill up your freezer or half the recipe!
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 large sweet potato
4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 lb red lentils
1, 28 oz can of tomatoes
2 litres of water
Juice of a lime
Plain Greek yogurt
In a large pot heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, sprinkle with salt and gently saute for about 5 minutes.
Add the celery, sweet potato and garlic.
Add the spices and stir well, the aroma will be heavenly.
Add the red lentils. Aren't they beautiful! such a shame when they're cooked they turn yellow - why is that?
Add the tomatoes and water, bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer, partially cover. Cook until the lentils are soft and the sweet potato is cooked through.
Add the juice of lime.
Puree with an immersion blender or in batches with a regular blender. Add hot water to thin if necessary.
To serve add a swirl of yogurt and some fresh cilantro.