Seasonal Recipes

Persian Red Lentil Soup with Tahini, Beetroot & Fried Mint


80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp hot paprika

Pinch of ground cinnamon
150 gm canned chopped tomatoes
1.5 litres vegetable or chicken stock
300 gm Persian red lentils (see note)
½ cup (loosely packed) mint

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandolin

Poached eggs (optional), to serve 

Garlic tahini
100 gm hulled tahini
80 gm thick natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, celery and garlic and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes), stir in spices and cook until fragrant (30 seconds). Add tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened (1-2 minutes), then add stock and lentils.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, half-covered with a lid, until lentils are very tender (20-25 minutes).

Meanwhile, for garlic tahini, stir ingredients and 60ml hot water in a bowl to combine, season to taste and set aside.

Heat remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add mint and fry until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels (discard oil).Half-blend the lentil mixture with a hand-held blender, stir in lemon rind and juice, and season generously to taste. Ladle into serving bowls, add a swirl of garlic tahini, top with beetroot, poached egg and fried mint, and serve hot.

Thank you for the recipe Gourmet Traveller.