Oh, hello you. It's been a while.
Time to bring in the New Year with some spice and some warmth.
We're doing a whole month of it. Every night for the month of January my dear one and I are cooking Feel Good Food. Spicy broths, Asian salads, punchy curries and argy bhaji. So, set the table, pull on your stocking socks, and tuck into a whole lotta love.
For this recipe: Start with a dal, change your mind and end with a soup.
BEETROOT DAL SOUP
250g red lentils, rinsed
3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 whole red chillies, sliced down the side
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly cut into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
4 cooked beetroot, quartered
400ml good quality vegetable stock
natural yoghurt, to serve
handful chopped fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Cover the lentils with approximately 1 litre of water and bring to the boil, skimming any froth that comes to the top with a spoon. Cover the pan with a lid, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the lentils are tender. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and drain if necessary. Stir and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, then gently fry the cumin seeds until they are fragrant. Add the onion, ginger and whole chillies and fry until golden and slightly softened. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, 100ml water with the ground spices and stir. Season. Bring to a gentle simmer and leave to cook, with the lid on, for 20 minutes.
Stir in the lentils and transfer to a blender. Add the quartered beetroot and whiz until smooth. Slowly pour in the stock, pulsing the blender until you reach a thick soup consistency. You may not want to use all of the stock or you may want more depending on how you like it.
If you're feeling fancy, push the soup through a sieve for extra smoothness. If not, give it a good old stir, season and garnish with a dollop of yoghurt and chopped coriander.
If you've got leftovers, the soup will keep for a week in the fridge in a (preferably) sterilised container, or freeze it for up to 6 months.