Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Chard
Chard, it's the brightest thing about January, the technicoloured stems of reds, pinks, purples and orange sprouting from the soil in our kitchen garden are a burst of colour, adding much needed warm tones to what can feel like a slow, cold month. It's like a little gift from mother nature at a time of year when she knows most of us probably need a pick me up.
The taste is similar to spinach but slightly earthier and a little less bitter. In this soup we've combined the stems with lentils and a Moroccan inspired selection of spices, creating a warming and wholesome soup, like a little hot water bottle for your tummy that will make you feel comforted and full all afternoon long.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp group ginger
1/2 tsp group turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup dried split red lentils
2 pints vegetable stock
1 bunch chard stems, roughly chopped
1. In a large saucepan heat the oil. Saute the onion and carrot over a medium-high heat for approximately 7 minutes, or until soft and beginning to brown.
2. Add all the spices and chilli flakes and salt. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Stir in the tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until the liquid has reduced and the tomatoes are soft. Approximately 5 minutes.
4. Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 10 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
5. Fold in the chard and cook until wilted but still vibrant. Approximately 5 minutes.
6. Serve the soup in bowls with a wedge of lemon, a dollop of greek yogurt and some crusty bread.