This simple soup is flavoured with warm spices, then blended to a velvety smooth texture and topped with coriander yoghurt. Serve it as a fast and sustaining lunch or dinner with naan bread or other lightly toasted bread of your choice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup (175g) split red lentils
5 cups (1.25 litres) diluted salt-reduced or homemade vegetable stock
400g can roma tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1/3 cup (85g) Greek-style yoghurt
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Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the celery and carrot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for a further minute, stirring constantly.
Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then half cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 25–30 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are very soft.
Meanwhile, to make the coriander yoghurt, stir the chopped fresh coriander into the yoghurt.
Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Blend the soup in the pan using a hand- held blender, or tip into a blender or food processor, process until smooth, then return the soup to the pan. Check the consistency; it will be fairly thick, so if you prefer it thinner, dilute with a little more stock or some water. Season to taste, then reheat until just bubbling. Serve drizzled with some of the coriander yoghurt.
This soup is easy to make and delicious! I changed it slightly, doubling the amount of tomatoes and I left out the tomato paste as I didn't have any, but added Worcestershire sauce and peppercorns and 3 potatoes. The whole family enjoyed this one. The coriander yoghurt is a really nice refreshing accompaniment. - 09 May 2011