Saturday, 3 January 2015

Homely and comforting: lentil and beef soup

This is a homely and comforting soup. Perfect for cold days, when it is wet outside. It's pepperiness is great for colds and blocked noses.

It is simple to make and keeps well in the fridge for a few days. I also like to make a big batch to freeze in individual portions so that I have something wholesome to come home to on busy days.

You can have it thick and almost stew-like. Or, if you prefer a thinner soup, add more water until you have the consistency you like. 

Beef and Lentil Soup
Serves 6

500g beef
1 cup dried red lentils
1 large onion, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons pepper, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 cups beef stock or water
100g frozen chopped fenugreek leaves or spinach
lime juice
chopped coriander leaves

Cut beef into small cubes.

Wash and drain the lentils. Then boil in a pan of water. Once the scum rises, scoop off, wash and drain.

Pour a tablespoon or so of flavourless oil into a large pan and soften the onions, carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic, beef, lentils and stock (or water) and salt to taste. Add the pepper and cumin seeds, then bring to the boil. Once it comes to a boil, partly cover and lower the heat. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the soup is of a desired consistency.

Add the frozen greens and cook for a few minutes, until the fenugreek leaves (or spinach) has mixed into the soup.

Check the seasoning, add lime juice and serve hot, sprinkled with the coriander leaves.

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