We all know the jokes about lentil-eating, granola-crunching, hemp-wearing vegetarians. Apart from the fact that they’re not funny and wrong (though, hey, if I did want to wear granola I would!), they miss the fact that lentils can be DELICIOUS. The jokers will soon be laughing on the other side of their faces (what exactly does that mean, btw?) This is one of the tastiest soups ever – and really easy to make. Indeed, it’s so easy to make that you’ll think you’ve missed something out – until you taste it!
Aromatic Lentil Soup
200g red lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 litre vegetable stock
2 red peppers, sliced finely
2cm cube fresh ginger
2 sticks lemongrass, sliced finely
Handful chives, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (the more you use, the spicier it will be)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 In a large pan, heat the olive oil gently and add the ginger, lemongrass, chives, garlic and chili flakes (these are the aromatics that make the dish so tasty). Cook for five minutes over a low heat, stirring frequently.
2 Add the peppers and stir well. Put the lid on the pan and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 Rinse the lentils well and add these. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, then add the stock.
Note: don’t add salt at this stage – the lentils won’t soften if you do.
4 Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5 Add salt and black pepper to taste.
There you go – told you it was easy! Serve with crusty bread or wholemeal pitta.