Soup to warm the cockles …… Plus Recipe

As ever an early riser, I’m sitting at my computer, in my dressing gown, at 5.45am.  I’m upstairs in our little office, looking out at the pitch black sky and trying to plan some interesting meals for Erik and myself.  That coal black sky is just shouting to me to make something warm, cosy, and, most of all, tasty.  All I can think of is a hearty soup, right at this moment in time, and I think I have found just the perfect one.  “Red Lentil Soup” by Rachel Allen from her book, ‘Rachel Allen’s Everyday Kitchen’.

I was flicking backwards and forwards on the internet, and this recipe came up on my screen.  Admittedly I wouldn’t want this one for breakfast, but if the weather gets chillier, I think it will be a hearty lunchtime meal, and looks like it will give Erik and me lots of energy for the amount of decorating we will be doing in the next week or two.  Definitely a soup to warm the cockles …… Red Lentil Soup (courtesy of Rachel Allen)
Red Lentil Soup
(courtesy of Rachel Allen)

Red Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook/Chill Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

This Red Lentil soup, with all its spices, is definitely a soup to warm the cockles of your heart, and your toes as well. To make it an even more filling lunch, or a bigger meal, have some crusty rolls or thick slices of Sour Dough bread to fill you up even more. I'm really looking forward to this soup, and almost hope the weather gets a bit chillier. Enjoy.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely grated
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 150 g split red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 litre good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, mint or parsley.


  1. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat, add the onion, garlic and some salt and pepper, then cook, uncovered, for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the onion is slightly golden around the edges.
  2. Add the ground spices and lentils and stir over the heat for 1 minute. Pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 - 12 minutes or until the red lentils have completely softened.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, stir in the chopped herbs and sprinkle over a little more salt if necessary.


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