Red Pepper, lentil and rice soup- Serves 4

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Another warming soup. Adding the rice makes it very filling.

200g red lentils
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. chilli flakes
1 tsp. hot smoked paprika
4 red peppers, deseeded and diced.
1 litre of vegetable stock
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp. caster sugar
200g cooked rice
4tbsp. natural yogurt
Horseradish sauce to taste (approx 2 tsp.)

  • In a sieve, rinse the red lentils and then leave them to soak in a bowl of cold water. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat the oil gently and fry the onion until it is soft.
  • Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook gently for 2 minutes.
  • Add the smoked paprika, with a splash of water (to stop it burning) and cook gently for a further minute.
  • Add the peppers to the pan and pop the lid on. 
  • Cook gently for 10 minutes until they begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain the lentils and add to the pan with the stock. 
  • Cover and bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are soft.
  • Remove a piece of pepper, cut into slithers, and set aside for garnish.
  • Leave the soup to cool a little before blending in a food processor (or use a hand blender) until smooth.
  • Reheat the soup and then add the vinegar and sugar.
  • Add the cooked rice to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes to make sure that the rice is cooked through thoroughly.
  • Mix the horseradish into the yogurt.
  • Divide the soup between four bowls and swirl with the yogurt mixture.  Top with slithers of pepper.
  • Serve with crusty bread.
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