Tomato & Red Lentil Soup

Just like there are times when only Chicken soup will cure the worlds ill’s, there are times when only Tomato soup will sooth: and it must be said as much as I’m a fan of it straight out of a heinz tin, there are few things nicer than homemade soup and bread, the act of simmering everything away is quite soothing in itself – this also makes a great starter for those times when out of a can might raise eyebrows…

  • 1 pint of chicken stock
  • 4oz Split red lentils
  • 400g canned chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • 3 Shallots
  • 3 medium sized cloves of Garlic
  • A handful of fresh basil sprigs
  • 100g Soft Cream Cheese
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Start by heating your stock, I’ve used home made stock from a roast chicken with this or a liquid stock and both are equally good, while that’s heating chop your shallots and garlic before frying them until soft. Rinse, dry and shred the basil until you have a good tablespoon full and rinse and dry the lentils so they’re ready to cook.

Add the lentils, and the fried garlic and shallots to your boiling stock and mix in the tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes adding the basil in the last 5 minutes to keep it’s taste. Once cooked blend the soup, I prefer to blend it until it’s silky smooth, but that’s a matter of taste. This soup is much better if you let it stand in the fridge for 24 hours before reheating and serving with a good bread and the cream cheese mentioned in the ingredients list beaten until soft with some more shredded basil added to it.

This soup keeps really well if it’s decanted into sterilised jars while hot then kept in the fridge. You can sterilise jars in the dishwasher or the oven.

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