Spicy Red Lentil Soup

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A warming and filling soup that can be enjoyed as a starter or as a standalone meal, inspired by the lentil soups found at falafel Imbisses around Berlin.

Ingredients:

1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 cm pieces
1.5 cups of red lentils, rinsed in cold water
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
3-5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
juice of 1 lemon plus additional lemon wedges to garnish

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
freshly cracked black pepper
coriander leaves to garnish

Toasted pita bread to serve

Method:

Heat a little oil in a medium-large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until clear, then add the ground coriander and cumin and stir for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

Add the carrots, celery and lentils and stir for a couple of minutes and then add the tinned tomatoes, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper and 1L of water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer, cooking until the lentils are cooked and broken down. Keep an eye on the water level and add more if the soup becomes too thick.

Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10m before pureeing until everything is well combined but still a little bit chunky. Squeeze the lemon juice in and stir to combine.

Spoon into bowls, garnish with smoked paprika, black pepper and coriander, and serve with toasted pita bread and additional lemon.

Jessica Prescott