Curried lentil soup

This soup is comfort food at its best – warming, rich and gently spiced. Perfect for a cold day when you need a little pick me up.

This recipe is loosely based on a retro seventies mulligatawny only minus the meat and adding in a few more spices. As well as tasting great the extra coriander and cumin give the soup an anti-inflammatory boost, while the garlic lends a helping hand to the immune system.

Try letting your garlic stand for around 10 minutes after chopping before cooking to allow the allicin to build. Allicin is one of the sulphurous compounds in garlic that is both antibacterial and antifungal, so a fantastic addition to the diet. Interestingly microwaving kills off almost all of garlic’s helpful properties – so stick to the saucepan!

Cook this super low and slow for best results, so the lentils break down and the potatoes soften to almost crumbly. This makes for a smooth and beautifully silky textured soup. Go for any type of stock you like here – I always use veggie but chicken or beef would also work.

  • 1 onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 170g red lentils
  • 1.5 litres stock
  • 30g basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney

Finely chop the onion and garlic cloves then grate the piece of fresh ginger. Chop the potatoes into small cubes.

Transfer the vegetables to a heavy based pan and add the cumin, coriander, turmeric and curry powder.

Gently rinse the lentils in cold water and add to the pan with the stock.

Bring everything to the boil and then simmer on a very low heat for around 1 hour. Meanwhile cook the basmati rice according to packet instructions.

When ready the soup should be thick, smooth and golden. At this point add the basmati rice and stir in the mango chutney.

Serve with a little fresh coriander.


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