Autumn Leaves are falling and soup is on the boil!

Last week I enjoyed myself being pop up Chef at Quirkys cafe in The Hague. I started with a little invention of mine which my friends and I call Friday Night Soup. It has overtones of Mexico, India and cold clear autumn evenings. It is for cooking on a Friday night when you are just too tired to cook. It’s for eating with good friends, old and new. It’s tasty, hearty and simple to make. It takes very little time and can be made in roughly half an hour. I have listed it on other blogs and related it to many people who have in turn made it theirs. My friend Janet makes it with pesto. Something we all agree on is that we have never met anyone who doesn’t like it. So here it is again.

Mexian Red Lentil Soup (My Friday Night Soup as served at Quirkys last Friday!

1 large onion chopped finely

1 tsp channa masala spice mix or a blend of your favourite spices (we like Shan’s mix or to make our own)

1 can of Italian Passata or whole tomatoes – I like S&W Mexican tomatoes

2 cans V8 veggie juice

chilli powder (to suit taste) – I put in half a teaspoon of Ancho chillie

2 veggie stock cubes dissolved in 2 large cups hot water approx

1 -2 cups red lentils depending on how thick you like it!

A good dollop of Thai Chillie Sauce and some cummin seeds

To serve add greek yoghurt or natural soy yoghurt, grated cheese, tortilla chips, fresh herbs

Fry onion in large soup pan, add in spices and fry until fragrant.
Pour in tomatoes, V8, veggie stock and water plus lentils. Simmer until lentils are done, adjust liquid levels with water, V8 or stock, adjust seasonings to suit household tastes. Serve with warm fried tortilla strips, soured cream, fresh herbs, diced chilli peppers, grated cheese as desired. Enjoy and warm up the next day for the lunch box! Experiment and have fun!

A few of my favourite spices above which I will be adding to my Christmas Chutney pressies (making it next week with some elderly apples and pears) and here is my favourite rice. Prepare it with fried onions, cardamon pods, cinnamon sticks and you will be as happy as happy can be! Buy from the Natuur Winkels and enjoy!

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Emily Smith Pearce
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 09:32:59

    This sounds so yummy. I have been looking for an inspiring lentil soup recipe. I don’t know if I can get V8 here in Germany. I will have to look. If not, what do you suggest as a substitute? tomato juice? Love the beautiful photos and yummy-looking recipes on your blog. I’m a less-meatarian, 101 cookbooks fan (as I see you are) so I’m always looking for new things to try. I’ve been loving Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.


    • foodforum
      Nov 14, 2011 @ 09:47:13

      Thanks Emily, this soup is always a winner. I would just use a good organic tomato juice instead of V8 if you can’t find it. I will look up the Bittman’s book but at the moment I am in love with Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty and The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit – such beauty and gorgeous writing!


  2. Katalin
    Jan 16, 2012 @ 17:34:53

    Hi, I have tried the lentil soup on the Winter Faire and it was fantastic. Would you tell me, where can you get channa masala spice mix or how can you repleace it? Thanks, Katalin


    • foodforum
      Jan 16, 2012 @ 22:25:20

      Well, have to say I just got three packets in England but have seen it at Amazing Oriental in The Hague, and at an Afro Hair shop on Wagenstraat strangely! If you can’t find it there, ask Kelly of Kellly’s Expat shop to get it in for you. I like the Shan label best. The other thing to do is to make your own spice mix – combination of cummin, tumeric, chilli, salt pepper, garlic, ginger, brown mustard seeds, grind and enjoy the perfume!


  3. Trackback: Experimenting with new tastes | Sunny IntervalSunny Interval

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