Red Lentil, Tamarind & Tomato Soup

It happened. I moved house. After living in a teensy tiny apartment for more than 5 years, I now officially live in a medium-sized apartment. Possibly one of the best things about this is finally having a grown-up fridge. Perfect timing to join a collab set up by fellow foodblogger Nicolas, who asked me to come up with a meal prep recipe.

If you’re thinking about making a big batch of something delicious to save for later, this soup, my take on a South Indian tomato rasam, is the perfect candidate. It’s one of my go to soups – tangy, hearty and intensely warming, with ginger, mustard and chilli all adding their own layers of gentle heat.

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Unless it’s the height of Summer and I’m lucky enough to get my hands on some sun-soaked and perfectly ripe specimens, I’m using high quality tomato passata instead of fresh tomatoes. This does not only make things quicker and easier, but also adds a richer tomato flavour.

The recipe below gives four modest portions, but can be multiplied to your own liking. For a spicier soup, simply use the green chilli without deseeding it first. Also make sure to taste your tamarind paste, before adding it, as some varieties are more sour than others. 

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Ingredients (for 4 portions):

150 g dried red lentils

3 cloves garlic

1 green jalapeño, deseeded

3 cm fresh ginger root

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

Black pepper

200 ml tomato passata

2-3 tsp tamarind paste, unsweetened

800 ml – 1l hot water (for thicker or thinner soup)

1.5 tsp salt

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  • Wash the lentils in a sieve until the water runs clear, then put them in a bowl, cover them with cold water and set them aside.
  • Next up, grab your food processor or stick blender and blitz the garlic, ginger and jalapeño to a paste. It doesn’t have to be super smooth, because we will blend this soup again.
  • Roughly and briefly grind the cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar.
  • Heat the oil in a deep lidded pan and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black pepper.
  • As soon as the mustard seeds start to crackle, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Drain and add the lentils, along with the tamarind paste, tomato passata and the hot water. Stir it well.
  • Simmer with the lid on, and, after about 20 minutes, check to see if the lentils are completely soft.
  • If they are, get your stick blender out and blend the soup until it is smooth.
  • Add the salt, stir well and taste to check if it needs more salt or pepper.
  • Serve it straight away or simply transfer to your storage container of choice and freeze to enjoy later. If, on reheating it, you find it has thickened a little you can always add some hot water to bring it back to your desired consistency.
  • Serve with naan or other (flat) bread to clean out the bowl (trust me, you’ll want to), and if you’re feeling fancy garnish the soup with fresh coriander leaves and thin slices of green chilli.

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Want to see some more meal prep ideas? Here are some recipes by the other food  bloggers who joined me in this delicious and practical collaboration:

BROCCOLI CHEESE QUICHE AND SWEET POTATO HASH by Slice of Honey

VEGAN MEAL PREP CHILI by Holistic Hormone Help

PUMPKIN, RICOTTA AND SAGE PASTA SHELLS   by It’s Not Complicated

INSTANT POT ROPA VIEJA FOR MEAL PREP by Hangry White Male

THAI CHICKEN GREEN CURRY MEAL PREP by Blogtastic Food

EASY MEXICAN LASAGNA by Real Food Happy Home

INSTANT POT STUFFED PEPPERS {WITH TURKEY AND QUINOA} by Meals with Maggie

MEAL PREP: GARLIC SHRIMPS SKILLET WITH BULGUR by Healthy Laura

MAKE AHEAD MEAL PREP MINI FRITTATAS IN MUFFIN TINS by 31 Daily

MUSHROOM RISOTTO MEAL PREP by Julia Recipes

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Welcome to Cuisine d’Eli! My name is Elizabeth and I’m a personal chef and caterer based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Contact me for more information and bookings.

16 thoughts on “Red Lentil, Tamarind & Tomato Soup

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