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This recipe should be tried by all – it’s delicious. A fantastic winter soup that will bring a little ray of summer sunshine into these cold and dismal days. It bursts with rich tomato and zingy lemon, but with deep earthy lentils and hearty pasta twirls. And what’s more, it is made from store cupboard staples. We ate large bowlfuls with grated Parmesan and a sprinkling of torn parsley. For lunch the next day I finished up the leftovers with a pile of sunflower sprouts and a drizzle of oil.
Tomato, Lemon and Lentil Soup
(this is what the recipe says, but really it’s two large bowlfuls and one for lunch the next day)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
400g tin plum tomatoes
60g red lentils
900ml (1 1/2 pints) vegetable stock
Salt and Pepper
Delicious garnishes: torn flat leaf parsley or sunflower sprouts
Heat some oil in a large saucepan and gentle fry the onion, garlic and carrot until soft.
Add the tinned tomatoes and break up a bit. Add the red lentils and stock and stir well. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta in a separate pan. This is really important – the first time I made this soup I thought I would save on washing up and bunged the dry pasta in with the soup to cook. The soup turned out more like a stew as the pasta absorbed too much of the cooking liquid.
When the soup has had its 30 minutes, use a hand blended to blitz it up a little bit so that it is a mixture or smooth and coarse textures. Add the pasta and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Make sure you taste the soup and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper until the soup bursts with flavour in your mouth.
Serve in warm bowls with plain or with a garnish of your choice.
This recipe is taken and slightly adapted from Family Food by Silvana Franco.