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The Staple Spicy Lentil Soup



375g red lentils (soaked for 12-14 hours)
3-4 tbsp olive oil
1 large leek
1 brown onion
1 bay leaf
2 long red chillies
4 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp each of ground allspice, nutmeg, sweet smoked paprika, mild paprika
Approx. 1.5L water
Salt and Pepper to taste


Chop the leek and onion. Place into a large saucepan with olive oil over medium heat and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the sliced red chillies and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then add diced carrots, celery, and bay leaf and cover to allow the veggies to sweat for a few moments. Stir through all the spices making sure that all the veggies get coated. Once the spices have become fragrant, add the tomato paste and continue to stir thourogly to prevent the veggies from sticking and ‘cook off’ the paste (add a little extra olive oil if needed). Pour in your lentils. Top the saucepan with the water, making sure the water come up about 5cm above the contents. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cook until lentils are tender and soup has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves four- six

*only add salt to lentils after they are fully cooked. Salt interferes with their cooking process and stops them from softening.



I use a simple ‘roux’ that was taught to me by my Mum and Baba (grandmother) to thicken most soups and stews.

1 tbsp flour – I use gluten free plain flour
Enough olive oil to coat flour
1 tsp sweet or mild paprika

Place the flour into a small pan. Allow it to heat slightly. Add the olive oil and stir gently and continuously as the mixture begins to heat through. Once small bubbles begin to form add the paprika and combine well. Allow it to bubble a little more, making sure it mixture does not burn. Pour the mixture straight into the hot soup/stew and stir.

Serves 6

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