Red lentil and Chard Soup
Iinspired by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
- 500 grams split red lentils
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2.5 liters vegetable broth (11.4 cups)
- 2 med red onions
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, separated
- 200 grams Swiss Chard
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 4 Lemons, cut into wedges
- Salt and black pepper
Wash the lentils in cold water. Heat in a large saucepan vegetable broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes or until soft. Skim off any thick coating that rises to the surface during cooking.
With a slotted spoon, remove half the lentils from the liquid mixture and set aside in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the lentils and water in the pan and mix thoroughly it using an emersion blender or a food processor. Return the remaining lentils to the soup.
Peel the red onions, halve and thinly sliced. With a frying pan over a medium heat, add olive oil and onions, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent. Next, remove and discard the large stems from the Swiss chard. Wash and rinse the leaves thoroughly, then chop loosely so the leaves are not too big or too small. Do the same with the coriander, leaving a few whole leaves for garnish later.
Add the cooked onions, chard leaves and chopped coriander into the lentil soup and season with cumin, cinnamon and some salt & pepper to taste. Reheat the soup and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
In a pestle and mortar, or using the heel of a large knife, crush the coriander seeds and garlic together. Pour remaining olive oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and coriander seeds and fry for 2 minutes, until the garlic starts to brown slightly. Stir mixture into the soup, remove the pot from heat and cover with a lid. Leave the soup to infuse for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with lemon zest garnish and coriander leaves and pass around lemon wedges. Lemons should be squeezed into the soup for a delicious flavor.