Ras el Hanout Spicy Red Lentil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Deeply warming and satisfying soup for chillier days. Serves 4 medium bowls. The soup is flavoursome enough without the bacon topping but add it for some extra colour and texture if you like.
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: Middle East / North African
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2oogm red lentils
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 3 tsps Ras el Hanout
  • 1 litre water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon cubed up or small packet of smoked pancetta lardons
  • handful of fresh coriander or parsley to garnish
Method
  1. Peel carrots and onion and chop finely. Wash and peel celery sticks and chop finely.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the chopped vegetables and sweat them gently over a low heat until softened. Keep the lid on, but check they don’t burn. Stir occasionally.
  3. Tip in the red lentils and add the Ras el Hanout or other spices if preferred. Stir round once or twice and cook with the veg for a minute before adding 750ml water or stock. Stir and then bring to the boil, before reducing the heat. Allow the lentils to simmer for around 20 minutes on a low heat until soft but not a total mush. Add more water if need be.
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisped up – dry frying in a cast iron pan works best.
  5. When the lentils and vegetables are soft, remove the bay leaves and then blend the soup in batches in a liquidiser until smooth. Retain a ladle of chunky soup if you prefer and dilute with water if you find it too thick. Return soup to the saucepan, reheat gently. Serve with crispy bacon lardons on top, and some chopped coriander if desired.
Recipe by The Red Bistro at http://theredbistro.com/2014/01/25/ras-el-hanout-spicy-red-lentil-soup/