One cup of puy/French lentils cooked until al dente – see pack for details
3 tbsp neutral oil such as sunflower
One large onion diced
A thumb size of ginger, finely chopped
Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
5 cloves – this soup is pretty clove forward, we love that taste but if you’re clove shy feel free to tone it down.
1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of whole all spice
2 tbsp of tomato paste
400g tinned tomatoes
3 cups stock or water
1 tsp chilli powder
Garam masala, a generous pinch
5 curry leaves* or 2 bay leaves
Coriander to garnish and basmati rice or naan to serve – optional
This lentil soup recipe was developed by Citu, a member of our packing team. He was inspired by a dish he had at North Melbourne’s Manze Restaurant. It’s super warming and aromatic with lots of spices and tomato. It calls for curry leaves which you’ll find at your local international grocer, but before you take the shop route, try asking your neighbour if they have any growing in their garden. Curry leaves are a bit like rosemary in that, if there’s a plant growing, there’s plenty to go around. Thanks For the recipe Citu, happy souping everyone!
Spiced Tomato and Lentil Soup
In a small dry pan, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves and all spice for a minute or so until crunchy and fragrant. Mortar and pestle/grind them into a powder (you can use pre ground spices if you’d prefer but whole spices have a fresh intensity when you grind them yourself).
Warm oil over a medium heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 5 mins, then add the ginger and garlic and continue to cook for a few mins more until onion is translucent and ginger and garlic are aromatic.
Lower the heat, add ground spices and allow to bloom for a minute or so, then add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally for about five minutes, until it’s a dark brick red – don’t burn it though!
Add the tinned tomato and 3 cups of stock/water and stir to combine. Add the al dente lentils and bay leaves (if using) and season with salt and pepper. If you want a kick of chilli you could add some powder or flakes at this point.
Simmer the soup gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before you turn off the heat add the garam masala and curry leaves (if using).
Serve immediately with basmati rice, naan or just as it is.
Hints and Tips
* you’ll find these at your local international grocer, but before you take the shop route, try asking your neighbour if they have any growing in their garden. Curry leaves are a bit like rosemary in that, if there’s a plant growing, there’s plenty to go around! If you have any left over after cooking this recipe we suggest freezing them in an airtight container, they’ll go dark green in colour but retain lots of flavour for future dishes.