This sunny and simple little soup is spiced with garam masala, a blend of various ground spices including coriander, cumin, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. It has an earthy mildly spicy flavour and is great for adding a gentle heat to dishes. I also add ground tumeric which is has a very slightly bitter earthy taste. Tumeric is from the same family of plants as ginger and is reputed to be very good for you; apparently it has anti-inflammatory properties and also aids digestion.
November is a funny month the weather gets colder but it is as if it isn’t really sure whether it’s still Autumn or if it’s the start of the Winter. I always find that when a cold is threatening if you drink enough hot drinks and soups you can beat it before it really takes hold. This soup is so easy to make that even when you are battling aches and chills you can knock up a few bowls. And the heat is just enough to help clear your airways.
Remember that if you are using water rather than stock you’ll need to add a good amount of salt to flavour the soup.
- 5 large carrots, sliced
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
- 100g red lentils
- 1.5 litres cold vegetable stock
- salt & pepper
- sunflower oil
- paprika (optional – purely for decoration)
- Heat a little oil in a deep saucepan. Add the carrot, celery and onion. Stir around well so that they are covered in the oil. Add in the spices and stir in well. Cover the pan and leave the veg to sweat on a gentle heat for 15 minutes.
- Add in the stock/water and lentils. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, cover the pan and leave to simmer on a gentle heat for 30 minutes.
- Blend the soup to a smooth texture. Season to taste.