A simple vegetarian soup with exotic flavours. A fragrant mix of lentils, coconut milk, lemon grass and spices make this a soup worthy of a special occasion.
It has a bit of a kick but that can be moderated by the amount of chilli used.
Don’t panic if you can’t find fresh lemon grass, check in the spice aisle at the supermarket for a jar of pre-chopped or substitute some grated lemon zest.
SPICED RED LENTIL AND COCONUT SOUP
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 birds eye chilli, seeded and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2.5cm piece fresh lemon grass, outer layers removed and inside finely sliced
200 g red lentils
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
400 ml coconut milk
juice of ½ lime or lemon
3 spring onions, chopped
¾ oz (20g) fresh coriander, finely chopped
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, chilli, garlic and lemon grass. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions have softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the lentils and spices. Stir in the coconut milk and 900 ml water.
Bring to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the lentils are soft and mushy. If you prefer a smooth soup liquidise at this stage.
Stir in lime or lemon juice to taste and add the spring onions and coriander, reserving a little of both for the garnish.
Season to taste with the salt and pepper then ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with the reserved onions and coriander and serve immediately.