What's in your Fridge? Rustling up something from nothing: lentil soup

A rifle through the kitchen cupboard and a scout around the fridge results in a soothing, healthy and really rather tasty lunch.

On Saturday afternoon, after a stint in the gym and a brief splash in the pool, I returned to my flat feeling hungry, but in the mood for something healthy and nourishing. At first glance things didn't look promising. The fridge was empty, but for an onion, carrot, a pot of yogurt and a few slabs of chili-infused Green & Black's chocolate (delicious, but not ideal at that moment in time). A stock cube and packet of lentils that I stumbled upon in the store cupboard reminded me of an Ottolenghi recipe that I'd glanced over earlier on in the week and so I set to work.

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This soup is really simple to prepare, it's low in fat but full of flavour. The recipe below serves 2.

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)

1 teaspoon curry powder

120g red or green lentils

750ml vegetable or chicken stock (from a cube if necessary)

To serve:

natural yoghurt

chopped parsley

lemon zest

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic, season with salt and black pepper and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not coloured.

Sprinkle over the cumin seeds and curry powder and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the lentils to the pan, followed by the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender. At this point you can blend the soup to a smooth puree, I decided to leave mine chunky. Divide the mixture between 2 serving bowls and top with a spoonful of yoghurt and a scattering of chopped parsley and lemon zest. Eat while feeling virtuous.

Published: August 23, 2011 04:00 AM