If you are looking for a quick meal, something comforting on a wet January day, this tomato and lentil soup is made using store cupboard ingredients and makes a tasty, warming lunch. It has a smooth, velvety texture and the paprika adds a touch of warmth. If you like food more spicy you can up the quantity to taste.
Tomatoes are one of those everyday foods that it is easy to overlook but they have several health benefits. According to The British Tomato Growers Association, they are a good source of Vitamins A, C and E, the natural plant pigments known as carotenoids (both beta-carotene and lycopene) and flavonoids.
They contain minerals such as potassium, which has been linked to lowering blood pressure and calcium, which is vital for healthy bones and teeth.
The vitamins and antioxidants found in tomatoes are thought to combat the harmful effects of free radicals (highly reactive molecules) that cause cell damage.
Not bad from a fruit most of us have kicking about in the fridge!
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 of a mug of red lentils
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Chop onions and fry until soft in vegetable oil.
Add lentils and stir until coated. Make up stock with 1 pint of boiling water and add to the lentils and onion. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the lentils are soft.
Add the chopped tomatoes,the crushed garlic and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Add more water if it gets a little thick.
Liquidise the soup, then return to the pan and warm through.
Serve with a slice of bread or if you are feeling decadent, a slice of toasted cheese!