A hearty long-time British treasure, Mallika Basu's version of this lentil soup is vibrant with the addition of mixed spices, fresh ginger and garlic. If preferred, leave the vegetables chunky so you get a bit of extra bite in the soup.
- CourseMain meal
- Prepare10 mins
- Cook40 mins
- Total time50 mins
Warm the olive oil or ghee over a mediumhigh heat in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Sauté the celery, onion and carrot for 5 minutes, then stir in the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes more.
Mix in the spices until the ingredients are uniformly coated, then add the lentils and stock and bring to a boil. Add the apple and bubble gently for 30 minutes, until the lentils are almost tender.
Add 250ml water to the pan, cover with the lid ajar and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the soup from sticking. When the lentils have disintegrated, use a potato masher to smooth the ingredients a little more, then season.
Ladle into bowls, then serve scattered with the coriander and crushed black peppercorns, with lemon or lime wedges for squeezing over.
Feel free to add winter veg like swede, turnips and squash. I also like to mix a pouch of microwavable basmati rice into it before serving for a complete bowl of winter comfort. Cooks’ Ingredients Vadouvan Spice Blend has notes of fenugreek, and is a more interesting version of a curry powder, but both work well. Deggi mirch adds medium heat and an intense red colour, but hot paprika is a robust alternative.