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4 April 2013

Spiced Lentil Soup with Lime and Mint

Photo: © childsdesign
Spring is supposed to be well and truly sprung and the clocks have gone forward, but this cold weather hasn't made us want to switch to salads just yet.
Warming food is definitely still on the menu and this is a healthy meal, full of flavour and simple to make. The addition of lime juice, lime zest and mint really brighten the soup making it exciting on the palate.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil*
  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder (use a good quality one)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds*
  • 200g red lentils, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g sultanas
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 150g natural yogurt

Place a large saucepan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and when hot add in the onions, curry powder, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds and fry gently until the onions become soft for about 3 minutes.

Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the sultanas and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add the lime zest and juice and most of the mint (saving some for garnish) and stir in. Taste to check the seasoning and add pepper and salt if necessary. Depending on your stock you may not need to add any salt.

Ladle into bowls and spoon a dollop of yogurt on to each and finish with a sprinkling of mint.

Serve with warm naan bread or chapattis.

Photo: © childsdesign
TIP: If making the soup for two, you could make the full amount and freeze what’s left. The remaining soup can be used for the base of a curry, just add vegetables, such as aubergine, spinach, tomato or whatever you like. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, adding a little water if the sauce becomes too dry.

*Notes on ingredients
Cold pressed rapeseeed oil is available from Yare Valley Oils or if your prefer something smoky, try the one from The Artisan Smokehouse.
High quality whole cumin seeds can also be got from Spice Kitchen.

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