I shared the above photo on Instagram, making the assumption that everyone was probably sick of my soup photos - but it’s all I’ve been eating lately and I’m all about keeping it real on here, as you know - but to my great surprise, there have been many calls for the recipe. I try never to let my public down, so here it is!
Imagine the best bits of minestrone and lasagna but in a soup, with some added spiciness and piquancy from ginger, cumin, coriander, parsley and lemon juice. It’s downright addictive and delicious! I made this up to use up what was in my fridge but I think I’m going to have to buy all the ingredients again to make this soup all winter long.
And please note, when I say “finely chopped”, I mean chopped as finely as you like/can be bothered! If you don’t mind a chunk of ginger or garlic in your soup (and I don’t), then don’t feel obliged to slave over the chopping board for longer than you want to!
Tomato and lentil lasagna soup
Makes at least 6 decent servings
1 large onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 bunch fresh parsley (the bunches you can get in the supermarket), including the stalks, finely chopped
3 large sticks celery, including the leaves and ribby bottom bits (without dirt), finely chopped
3 large stalks silverbeet (chard) or kale, including the stalks, finely chopped
Any other vegetables you want to use up (carrot, zuchinni, capsicum etc), finely chopped
390g lentils - I used a combination of 150g dried red lentils and 1 x 400g can (including liquid) cooked brown lentils which was a great combination, as the cooked brown held their shape nicely
3-4 tablespoons tomato paste (I like it rich and tomatoey)
2-3 tablespoons spicy tomato chutney (optional, I just had this sitting in the fridge)
1 x 420g can whole plum tomatoes
1 heel of manchego/parmesan/vegetarian hard cheese (optional, but it adds a lovely flavour - freeze your cheese heels when you get to the hard end of your piece of cheese so you can use them in things like this!)
2 litres (approximately) stock - I made my stock with Massel Beef Style stock powder, which is vegan, and adds a lovely richness
4-5 fresh lasagna sheets (approx 1/3 of a 375g pack), torn into rough pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Baby spinach, to stir in at the end
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Drizzle some olive oil in a large, heavy-based stock pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften. Add the spices, parsley and vegetables, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until starting to soften and fragrant. Add a bit of water if it’s starting to stick to the bottom.
Add the lentils and stir to get everything mixed together nicely. Add the tomato paste, chutney (if using), can of tomatoes, stock and cheese heel. Stir to combine, add more stock if you think it needs it, and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Tear the fresh lasagna sheets into pieces - the more rustic the better! - and place in the simmering soup. You may need to add a little bit more stock. Make sure the pieces of pasta are submerged sufficiently. Cook for a further 4 minutes until the pasta is soft.
Finally, add the lemon juice, spinach leaves, salt and pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt if you’ve used the cheese heel) and stir well to combine and wilt the spinach. Remove the cheese heel (or cut it up and put it back in the soup - I like that, but not everyone does!), ladle into deep bowls and serve.
This is like a warm hug in a bowl! The fresh lasagna sheets make it particularly phenomenal. If you want a stick-to-your-ribs winter soup that will warm you from the inside out and make your tastebuds zing, this is the one. I hope you enjoy it.