Red lentil and cumin soup with garlic yogurt-cream

A recipe for my cupboard

1 medium onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
6 inch piece of celery, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of ground cumin 
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ tin of tomatoes
1 bay leaf (optional)
200g red lentils
800ml water

A few spinach or chard leaves, frozen or fresh

To serve:
2 tablespoons of thick natural yogurt
4 tablespoons of double cream (if you don’t have, use crème fraiche or make it all yogurt)
1 garlic clove, crushed
A pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon of Nigella seeds (if you have them)
½ lemon

How to make:
Add the olive oil to the pan with the onion and soften for 5 minutes. Add the carrot and the celery and bay leaf (if using) and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low-medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the cumin, ground ginger and chilli flakes and allow to fry for 30 seconds or so. Add the lentils and stir so they are coated. Add the water and tinned tomato and another good pinch of salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes on a low heat, stirring every now and again until the lentils are disintegrating and fully soft. Allow to reduce a little to strengthen the flavour. Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, cream and garlic really thoroughly.  5 minutes before serving, add in the green leaves to the soup and cover to steam them.  Check seasoning before serving and add more salt if needed.

Serve, making sure each dish has some greens with a huge dollop of yogurt cream, and a squeeze of lemon on top.


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