Over in Zurich last week my mum got out an old recipe binder of hers she'd found from days gone by, possibly as far back as the 70s. It was quite an interesting read, both to see how tastes have changed but also how some things that seem modern have been popular for quite some time. Maybe due to the lack of spice over the Christmas period one thing that really caught my eye was a spiced red lentil soup. Copyright for recipes is a strange thing, what with most new recipes being slight tweaks of old recipes, but as I've altered quantities, removed a couple of ingredients and added one or two more this recipe is definitely now mine.
It's chili hot, but not overly so, with the nice curried flavour that cumin and coriander give. The final addition of some garam masala adds a welcome fragrance that would have been missing in the original. It really reminded me of the pots of daal you get with roti canai for breakfast in Malaysia and I ended up having this for breakfast, with a couple of chapati, the next day too - a fine start to the day.
Spiced Red Lentil Soup
200gr red lentils
1.25 litres chicken or veg stock
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 ts cumin seeds
1/2 ts ground coriander
Juice 1/2 lemon
Handful fresh coriander
1 ts garam masala
Cook the cumin in a dry pan till fragrant then remove and crush lightly.
Finely chop the onion then fry in some olive oil till starting to take on a little colour.
Add the garlic, chilli, cumin and coriander and cook for a minute or two more.
Add the lentils (picked over for stones and rinsed) and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
Add the lemon juice, coriander and garam masala, stir well and serve.