Today I’m being nice and bringing joy to the world.
I recently heard about an initiative by a restaurant in London’s Borough Market called Arabica Bar and Kitchen. Throughout January the founders have added a spiced red lentil soup to the menu – and for every £5 bowl sold they will donate £3 for the Soup For Syria appeal. That’s it below – looks nice doesn’t it.
But if you’re not in London that doesn’t mean you can’t join in too, as, Arabica’s founder James Walters has handed out the recipe to anyone who wants to make it themselves – and, should you like it, then you can make a donation yourself to any of the appeals. It’s a nice idea I like it so, in a minute I’ll give you the recipe to try for yourself. So here it is
Arabica Spiced Red Lentil Soup
A warming, wholesome, fragrantly spiced vegan-friendly crowd pleaser!
Serves 4 generously
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 small onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp. Ras el Hanout
- ½ tsp. Urfa chilli flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 200g red lentils
- 3 tsp. pomegranate molasses
- 1200ml hot water
- Sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper
- Fresh thyme leaves
- Fried onions or shallots (Available from any oriental supermarket)
- Black pepper
- Peel and finely dice the onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the onions and cook on a low heat until they soften, become translucent and give off there natural sweetness.
- Add the garlic, bay leaf, Ras el Hanout spices and continue to cook on a low heat for further minute stirring continuously.
- Add the tomato paste, red lentils and slowly add the 1 litre of boiling water mixing as you go. Finally add the pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil. Skim the surface if necessary. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes or till the lentils are fully cooked and begin to break down.
- Blend the soup to a smooth consistency and season with salt to taste. If the soup is too thick add more water.
- To serve ladle into deep soup bowls, drizzle with olive oil, liberally sprinkle with crispy onions, a pinch of cracked black pepper, a few fresh thyme leaves and a tiny pinch of citrusy sumac.