Sunday, 24 February 2013

Snowy Sunday in Berlin: Red Lentil and Spiced Carrot Soup

Hearty red lentils and spices make this a warming, satisfying soup

Winter is resolutely refusing to budge in Berlin.  A few milder days in early February lulled us into false hopes that the worst was behind us, but the cold bit back with a vengeance.  It's the sort of cold that seeps into your bones and hovers over the city with sinister force; trying to dissuade potential revellers from venturing outside.

I put my survival to date down to two vital ingredients:
1. Duvet coat
2. Soup ….
... and copious amounts of it.  Making soup on a Sunday (when everything in Berlin is shut) is a therapeutic antidote to the preceeding night's adventures which invariably involve artic conditions and trudging from one bar to the next on perilous ice or slush.  Cook a big batch to keep you warm through the rest of the week when the weather is too schlecht to bother with the shops and too dark to inspire you to cook.

This gently spiced soup is particularly warming, and the lentils make it hearty and satisfying.  Curl up and enjoy a big bowl with some crusty bread.  Guaranteed to provide resilience until Spring arrives.

Jules x


small piece of fresh ginger
1tsp cumin seeds
a pinch chilli flakes
1 onion
2 large carrots
150g red lentils
1litre vegetable stock (I use Marigold bouillon)
small bunch fresh coriander

Finely chop the onion.  Peel and grate the ginger and the carrots.  Heat some olive oil in a large pan and fry the ginger and spices for a couple of minutes.  Add the carrot and onion and cook for 5 mins.  Add the lentils and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.  Check the lentils are tender, if not cook a wee bit more.  Blend.

Sprinkle the coriander to serve.  You can stir through a spoonful of natural yoghurt if you fancy.

Enjoy as it warms your bones.


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