Spicy Lamb & Lentil Soup

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Spicy Lamb & Lentil Soup

With Winter’s icy arrival, there are few things that bring me absolute comfort. A steaming mug of NoMu’s Hot Chocolate on the couch watching Brothers & Sisters, a hug from my husband and a warm bath are pretty much it. Oh, and of course food! Stews, soups and curries warm me from the inside and makes me incredibly happy. So when I combine a curry and a soup, you better know I’m going to love it. And not only did I love this, my whole family did as well. My sister-in-law said that this was “de-freakin-licious” which is exactly what I wanted to hear.

Spicy Lamb & Lentil Soup

What makes this recipe even better is that it is relatively simple, produces a lot of food (and it’s so easy to multiply this recipe to feed even more) and it’s very versatile. You can use whichever vegetables you have lying around, you can use canned lentils and you can swop the stewing lamb for boneless leg of lamb cubes or even cubes of lamb steak (if you do this, I suggest you use canned lentils so that the lamb steak doesn’t get over-cooked and stringy). The spice level is also up to your personal preference. I like things hot and spicy, especially in Winter, but if you only want a tongue-tingling warmth, use less chillies. I wouldn’t, however, leave out any of the other spices. They don’t add any heat, just a lovely toe-curling warmth that will remind you that Summer isn’t THAT far away. If you don’t have all these spices in your pantry, try to use a really good quality garam masala or curry paste as a substitute.

Spicy Lamb & Lentil Soup

To serve, I suggest Roti’s (a Indian sort-of crepe/wrap), Naan bread or crusty Ciabatta. I also made a silky Yoghurt drizzle sauce to top the soup off with, it adds flavour and it calms the heat down, just slightly.  And don’t forget to serve this with plenty of fresh coriander (or Italian parsley if like me you can’t stand fresh Coriander), extra chillies and a good squeeze of lemon/lime juice.

Spicy Lamb & Lentil Soup

Serves 4-6

1kg boneless stewing lamb / leg of lamb cubes
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 bay leaves
1tbsn ground coriander
1tbsn ground cumin
1tbsn paprika
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger (0r fresh)
1tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2tsp nutmeg
2-3tsp crushed chillies
2 cups red, split lentils
1 tin tomato puree (not paste)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2tsp sugar
750ml-1l lamb stock / water (I used NoMu’s Lamb Fond)
salt & pepper to taste

Yoghurt Drizzle

1 cup plain yoghurt
2tsp tikka paste (or other curry paste)
Fresh coriander and chillies to serve

  1. In a large pot, brown the lamb in vegetable oil. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, fry the onions, carrots and celery until soft and translucent (approx. 5-7 minutes).
  3. Add the celery and bay leaf and fry for another minute.
  4. Add all the spices and fry for 30 seconds. Add the lentils, tomatoes and lamb back into the pot and stir to coat the lamb and lentils with all the spices and vegetables.
  5. Add the sugar and lamb stock/water and turn the temperature down. Cover and allow to simmer for 45-60 minutes until the lamb is soft and the lentils are cooked. Season to taste.
  6. For the Yoghurt drizzle, combine the yoghurt with the curry paste.
  7. Serve the lamb & lentil soup with the yoghurt drizzle, fresh coriander, extra chopped chillies and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Alida Ryder
Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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  • Flee

    Oh Wow this looks amazing… Will try this for the man.. If I use Lamb with bone in, what weight would you recommend? (Man likes the bones in soups & stews?)

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Flee, I would suggest about 1.5kg of meat then. :)

      Pink: Thanx! :)

      Nina: You should! It really is the perfect comfort food!

  • http://pinkpolkadotblog.wordpress.com PinkPolkaDot

    Lovely recipe! Just the right food for the cold weather!! Pretty styling and pics, as always!

  • Nina

    I will definitely be making this next weekend! Cold Cape weather, comfort food … Yum!

  • http://www.thecreativepot.net Marisa

    Flip this sounds good! I think I’ve just found my new favourite soup.

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Marisa : Yay! :) It really is delicious and I thought some of my family wouldn’t like it and they all LOVED it!

  • http://haveforkwilleat.com Lauren | Have Fork Will Eat

    OMG I am absolutely drooling over this. Been wondering what I should do with the lentils in my pantry…now I know!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Lauren: Glad I could give you some inspiration! :)

  • Celle

    I made this recipe and it was fabulous!!! It is the perfect winter dish, LOVE IT!

  • Bernard

    Wow this does look really good!

    I have a question… I made a lentil soup the other day that required split lentils, so I went to the shop and got a pack of lentils, think they were called brown lentils… However they seemed a bit hard even after cooking.. So some people told me you have to soak lentils overnight in water before cooking… So now I’m confused :)
    Can somebody please tell me where can I get the correct split lentils and what are they called in the shops? Oh and do they need to be soaked…

    Would really appreciate it!
    Thanks!

    • http://www.simply-delicious-food.com Ally_R

      Bernard, I almost always use tinned lentils but when I don’t, I never soak them. It’s very important that you don’t add salt to the soup whilst cooking as this will retard the cooking of the lentil skins so they will stay hard. Only salt when they are cooked. :) I normally buy Split Red Lentils. You can buy them from any supermarket, I recently found some at Checkers.

      • Lisa

        What are tinned lentils? Are they just canned lentils?

        • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

          Yes, they’re called tinned in SA. :)

  • Bernard

    Thank you so much Alley that really helps! Love you blog by the way! :)

  • DianaGail

    I did not use tinned lentils, I simply made a batch and it worked out fine. This is a great recipe – I followed it (almost) to the tee. I will make it again. And again. And again…

  • Pingback: SUPER FOOD FOR A SUPER YOU! - Zomt

  • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

    Yes, you can use canned lentils and if they’re already cooked just add them 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve to warm them through. Green lentils will just cook slightly slower than red.

  • HMcReynolds

    What kind of chilis do you use? Looks amazing, going to try this week!

    • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

      I use African bird’s eye chillies (peri-peri) but Jalapeno’s will work just as well.

  • http://simply-delicious-food.com/ Alida Ryder

    Kim, You would need to cook the lentils for approximately 45 minutes so be sure to adjust the cooking time to suit that.

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