Di’s Red lentil soup with roasted tomato and garlic
Serves 4 or more
Many versions of lentil soup have been made in our house but we think we’ve finally struck the jackpot with this one. Thyme flavoured roasted tomatoes and lots of garlic roasted to bring out its sweetness add something special to this soup. And the lemon brings the zing. Enjoy!
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 750g ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1 tblsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
- 3 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tblsps tomato paste
- 1½ cups red lentils, rinsed well, drained
- 1 litre vegetable stock, preferably home-made
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, juice and finely grated rind
- 1 tblsp additional extra virgin olive oil
- Handful of chopped parsley or coriander
- Preheat oven to 200ºC fan-forced and line an oven tray with baking paper. Separate garlic cloves, peel, place in a piece of foil lined with some baking paper, add a good glug of olive oil and bring the ends together to make a loose parcel. Place in oven for about 20 minutes or until cloves are very tender. Remove and set aside.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters lengthwise and arrange cut side up on prepared tray. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle the thyme leaves over and season with salt and pepper. Roast with the garlic for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are starting to collapse. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat remaining olive oil to medium in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add onions and celery and cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft. Add the garlic cloves and tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until everything is coated well (about 1 minute).
- Add the lentils and vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, cover and bring to the boil for a minute or two. Reduce heat, add roasted tomatoes to the pot and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until tomatoes have completely disintegrated and lentils are tender. Add the grated lemon rind in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Use a stick mixer to blend the soup in the pot, or cool it a little before blitzing in a food processor to the consistency you like. Reheat, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive, a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley or coriander.