Pulses are good. If you are trying to get a lazy bowel to work and it just happens to be a cold winter’s night, you cannot go past a good lentil and bean soup to do the trick. Win both ways!
This one is quick to make and really inexpensive. It’s very filling and there should be enough for tomorrow’s lunch as well. If you have a winter garden full of fresh coriander and Italian parsley, so much the better. And a tub of creamy Greek yoghurt and ground black pepper to finish it off, turns it into a gourmet dish! Not to harp on too, about the natural benefits to the bowel.
I cook everything with chilli, can’t resist the zing. But it is entirely optional. The original recipe calls for leeks and celery. We didn’t have any last night and it was delicious none the less, so include them if you have them, but don’t worry otherwise. Also we only had a tired bunch of coriander, so we chopped up the roots, and actually I think that really added something very special to this soup. So I recommend it.
Brown onion – finely chopped
1 leek – finely sliced
1 small red chilli – finely chopped (optional)
1 cup red lentils – rinsed and drained
Old bunch of coriander – chop the roots up finely and add the leaves if you have them. Can never have enough coriander!
Italian parsley – a very large handful finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
250g tin of cannellini beans
2 large tbs tomato paste
2 litres of vegetable stock
1. Add leek, onion, chilli, celery and cook in a good slosh of olive oil until soft
2. Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking for a minute or two
3. Add the red lentils and stock and bring to the boil
4. Reduce to simmer and cook for 1 hour, skimming the fluffy orange foam off from time to time
5. Add the tin of tomatoes, cannellini beans, chopped coriander, paprika and salt and cook for another half an hour until thickened. Stir occasionally, or the lentils will stick.
6. Stir in half the parsley about ten minutes before serving
7. Serve with a generous dollop of yoghurt and top with parsley
8. Add crusty bread if you wish.