Finally, Sydney has a bit of a cold snap, making it feel like a proper winter at last. In the cooler months, there’s no such thing as too much soup. This Thai red lentil soup from Yotam Ottolenghi is wonderfully aromatic, rich and warming. I’ve doubled the original recipe because I found it didn’t quite make enough soup for my needs (leftovers for another meal are essential). Scattered liberally with snowpeas and coriander for the greens component, it becomes a complete meal. Unusually for me, I don’t think it even needs bread on the side. I have, however, served it alongside pan fried gyoza dumplings for dinner turning it into a feast.
Thai red lentil soup
Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 4 tablespoons of light olive or vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 1¼ tablespoons vegetarian red curry paste
- 2 lemongrass stalks, gently bashed with a rolling pin
- 8 fresh (24 dried) kaffir lime leaves
- 500 grams red lentils
- 1 x 400 ml can of coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons of lime juice
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 small bunch of coriander finely chopped leaves and stems chopped, separated
- Salt to taste
- 2oo grams sugar snap or snowpeas, blanched for 1 minute and refreshed in iced water. Sliced on diagonal (optional).
- Chilli oil for garnish (optional).
- Heat oil in a large pot, add onion, and saute on a low heat with the lid for 15–20 minutes. Stir occasionally until onions are soft, translucent and sweet. Stir in coriander stalks and red curry paste, and cook for another minute until curry paste smells fragrant.
- Add lemon grass stalks lime leaves, red lentils and 1.5 litres of water. Bring to boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until lentils are completely soft.
- Remove from heat and remove the lemon grass stalks and kaffir lime leaves. Process until completely smooth. Return soup to saucepan, add coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce and half a teaspoon of salt (to taste). Heat soup to almost boiling, just before serving.
- Garnish generously with sliced sugar snap peas, coriander and a drizzle of chilli, oil if desired.