SPICY LENTIL SOUP

Makes 1 litre soup
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min

1 onion, chopped
Olive oil
2 carrots, grated
2 sticks soup celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
250 ml (1 c) red lentils
1,5 litre Carmién rooibos tea, made with 8 bags fennel & aniseed and 3 bags ginger & chilli
2 chicken stock pods
2 ml (1/2 t) ground cumin
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
5 ml (1 t) chopped mint
15 ml (1 T) chopped coriander
Roasted fennel seeds for garnishing
Poppadums for serving

1 Stir-fry the onion in a little heated oil till soft, add rest of the vegetables and stir-fry till soft and flavoursome.
2 Add the lentils, strained rooibos tea and chicken stock pods and bring to the boil.
3 Add the cumin. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30–40 minutes till lentils are soft. Blend half of the soup in a food processor till smooth, otherwise use a stick blender. Mix the smooth soup with the rest of the soup mixture.
4 Add lemon juice and rind and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5 Add a sprinkling of mint and/or coriander and garnish with roasted cumin seeds.
6 Cook the poppadums for about 1 minute in microwave oven till crisp and serve with the soup.

Carmen Niehaus, Food Editor, Huisgenoot & YOU