I usually do meatless meals for at least one, sometimes two, weekend evenings, if I can slip it past my family’s notice. Meatless Monday would cause a riot in our house (Mondays are bad enough, let’s not deprive them of their meat as well), so I don’t try it, but this is a good recipe for a chilly Meatless Monday evening – Spicy Red Lentil Soup.
Here’s how it came about:
Last Saturday we went out for lunch at Coffeeberries, a coffee shop at Cascades Mall in Maritzburg. I had a tasty grilled hake fillet, really spicy and done to perfection, with roasted veggies, and not the usual old butternut/creamed spinach mix either, but roasted baby veggies – courgettes, sweetcorn, peppers, etc. It was delicious!
Then for supper, we braaied a perfect rump steak, since the weather was slightly warmer, and we were having ‘braai-withdrawals’. It went down a treat with home-made garlic bread and a salad full of goodies like avo, seeds and strawberries, yum.
So on Sunday, I suggested to AP and NJ that a meatless meal for supper would be a good idea, after all Saturday had been a pig-out. They argued that fish wasn’t really a meat (!), but I won and they got a spicy lentil soup for supper (okay, so AP did talk NJ into making him a toasted bacon and egg sarmie to go with his soup – he doesn’t believe in meat-free anything).
The soups was delicious, a new recipe which I got from the www.summertomato.com blog (amazing blog, do check it out). I did change the recipe a little, so here’s my variation:
Spicy Red Lentil Soup
a good splash of olive oil, for frying
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 sachet tomato paste (+/- 3 Tbsps)
salt & pepper
2 litres chicken stock
2 large carrots, finely diced
2 cups red lentils, sorted and washed
extra boiling water, to top up if needed
juice of 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a large pot, fry the onions until slightly browned, add the garlic and cook for another minute
- Stir in the spices and fry for a minute – don’t let them burn, then add the tomato paste and seasoning, stir through to blend
- Add the stock, carrots, lentils and as much water as you think it needs, stir very well
- Bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft – add more water if needed
- Just before serving, check the seasoning and adjust to taste, then stir in the juice of the lemon – this really makes a difference to the flavour
- Serve with brown seed bread toast
Apologies for a less than glamourous photo – I’m not very good at ‘dressing-up’ soup! Trust me, though, the flavours were wonderful 🙂