Tomatoes and lentils create a very nutritious and nourishing soup. The chili gives it a spicy aroma and assists in proper digestion. The soup is rich in dietary fibre where lentils provide a good source of protein, which helps you feel fuller for longer. Full of fibre and protein, lentils provide a healthy meat substitute. This makes it an ideal ingredient for many vegetarian dishes. Lentils have components of iron, folate, magnesium, zinc, and potassium and have diverse health benefits including but not limited to better digestion and heart wellbeing.
Preparation time: 40-50 minutes. Serves: 4
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small green chili, deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
- 250g (8oz) red lentils, washed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 5 litres (2 ½ pints) vegetable stock
- 400g (13oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Natural yogurt, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and chili (if using) and fry gently for 4-5 minutes until soft.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, celery, carrots, leek, and stock. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove the bay leaf.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and pepper to taste. Allow to cool a little, and then transfer to a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, adding more stock or water if necessary.
- Reheat gently, before serving with a swirl of yogurt. Serve with crusty wholemeal bread, if liked.
All pulses – beans, peas, and lentils – are high in soluble fibre, which is good for cholesterol reduction. They also make a soup satisfying and this lentil soup is particularly filling.