Why does the world need a Red Chilli Lentil Soup recipe at this time of year? Well, I don’t know about you, but after distinctly spring-like vibes here last week that saw the sun shining, the daffodils beginning to send up greenery, and jackets being left at home, we were plunged unceremoniously back into winter this weekend. This was the picture out of my kitchen window yesterday morning. Sigh. I quite like snow – it’s very pretty – but I prefer it in December!
So, to register my displeasure at the cruel turn the weather has taken, I decided to whip up some distinctly fiery soup. Not too fiery you’ll understand, with a six-year-old in the house, but fiery enough.
We’re fortunate in that we have a little guy who is actually quite fond of a hint of chilli (as those of you who have seen my kid-friendly chilli con carne recipe will be aware).
Actually, you can spice up or chill down this recipe as much as you like. Just keep taking a taste to check as you go. I like to add a dollop of natural yogurt to the grown up bowls and my boy likes a little milk mixed in with his.
I also have a slightly compulsive tendency to make enormous pots of soup and then freeze portions. This freezes exceptionally well – I’d even go so far as to say it tastes slightly richer after freezing.
- 2 litres of water
- 2 ham stock cubes
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 3 medium/large carrots chopped
- 2 cups of swede/turnip chopped
- 2 medium sized potatoes chopped
- 1 to 2 cups of red lentils
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
- 4 rashers of bacon
- 1 small red chilli pepper sliced or 1 level teaspoonful of dried chilli
- Half a teaspoon of dried paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Natural yogurt to garnish (if desired)
- Add the water, stock cubes and vegetables to a large stockpot. Bring to the boil.
- Rinse the red lentils well before adding to the boiling vegetables. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add the sprig of rosemary and allow to simmer for half an hour.
- Add the chopped bacon, chilli and paprika and allow to simmer for a further half hour.
- Remove the rosemary sprig.
- Blend or liquidise the soup until it is as smooth or textured as you like it.
- Check for flavour. Add seasoning as required.
- This soup is particularly good with garlic bread or croutons.