So this is a family favourite which has been served in a million different ways… in bowls with hunks of bread while sitting on the porch at the beachhouse, defrosted and reheated, pureed to perfection in little shotglasses at cocktail parties, chunky and soothing on a lazy sunday evening…. it always tastes fantastic and everyone loves it, from littlies to oldies…
1 large tin (800g) crushed tomatoes
1 normal size tin (400g) lentils
2l salt reduced vege stock
1 cup wine (whatever you have on hand will do really)
1 large onion
1 large carrot
2 sticks celery
1-2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons top quality smoky paprika (try good deli’s and italian grocers)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (if you can be bothered, toast the seeds yourself and pound them with a mortar and pestle – it literally takes 5 minutes and the flavour is incredible – you’ll never go back to supermarket bottles of spices ever again!)
handful of fresh continental parsley
1 dollop greek (natural) yoghurt
Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. (FYI this is called a “mire-poix” (mir-pwa) – it is the core of french & italian cooking!)
Heat a large heavy based saucepan on medium-high.
Add a big lug of olive oil.
When hot, throw in your veges.
Finely chop the garlic and add to the pot.
Stir till softened.
Add the spices and stir continuously till cooked out – 1-2 mins.
Add the wine and allow to bubble till the alcohol evaporates (ie when the steam no longer smells like booze).
Add the tomato and then the stock.
Give it all a good stir, cover and cook for around 30 mins.
Juice the lemon and add into the pot.
Chop the parsley and add into the pot. (You might want to skip the parsley if you are serving in clear glasses for a dinner party.)
Using a stick (hand) blender, whizz it till the soup has the desired consistency. Some like it really pureed, some like it a little chunky. If you don’t have a stick blender, put it through a normal blender in batches – or leave it chunky.
Ladle into bowls and dollop some greek yoghurt on top (optional but oh so worth it!)
Serve with crusty bread!
Serves 2 for dinner + lunch for the next couple of days!