This recipe has a complicated history, it was originally pinched, for want of a better culinary word, from a very old Eliza Acton original dating from the early nineteenth century. Eighth Day Café developed it up into their usual vast quantities and it has been a favourite for the last dozen years, each new cook altering it slightly as is the way of things here. Now of course we've reduced it back down to a more domestic quantity for our site. We could have just used the original but no one can remember what it was. In any event it is a fine example of that most British institution, a thoroughly anglicised Indian dish.
4oz Red Lentils
1 Small Potato
1 Small Turnip or Swede (about 4 ounces)
14oz Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Pureé
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Curry powder
1 Dessert Apple
2 Pints Water
2 dessert spoons Sunflower Oil
Salt & Pepper
- Peel and dice the onion, heat the oil in a saucepan add the onion and fry gently with the garam masala and curry powder.
- Whilst the onion is frying wash the lentils under cold running water, it is easiest to put them in a sieve.
- As soon as the onion is soft add the water to the pan put in the lentils and turn up the heat.
- Wash the vegetables, peeling any that are not organic, dice into ½ to 1 inch chunks and add to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes and the pureé to the pan.
- Once the soup begins to boil stir and then lower the heat and allow to simmer.
- Wash, core and small dice the apple and add to the pan.
- Cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour, until all the vegetables are cooked.
- Season to taste and serve. This soup is a meal in itself for four and could be a starter for 6.