Tomato and Lentil soup

This tomato and lentil soup is the king of tomato soups! Ridiculously easy, no mess, no fuss and the result is a gorgeously thick and creamy soup with all the tomato-y-ness and lots of texture from those beautiful red lentils. The secret to its incredible delicate umami flavour is a parmesan rind and salted butter. You might look at the amount of butter and turn pale, but I kid you not - the butter is what makes this the the most velvety soup! If you are vegan, just sub accordingly with vegan butter and vegan parm. I always serve this soup with a drizzle of cream, more parm and a crusty piece of sourdough topped with extra mature cheddar.

serves: 5
freezer friendly: yes

INGREDIENTS
2 cans of plum tomatoes
half a can full of water
1 white onion (chopped in half)
6tbsp salted butter
120g split red lentils (rinsed)
1 tsp tomato purée
2tsp minced garlic
1/2 stock cube (chicken or veg)
1 parmesan rind
1tbsp dried basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1tsp sugar (to cut through the acidity of the tomatoes!)

METHOD
1. Add all the ingredients (minus the sugar) to a heavy bottomed saucepan coated in a drizzle of olive oil. Place the onion halves flat side down into the pan. 
2. Simmer on a medium low hob for approximately 40 minutes, every 5-10 minutes stirring the soup with a wooden spoon to prevent the lentils from sticking because they will try and stick!
3. Do a taste test, season more if neccessary, remove the parm rind, onion halves and bay leaf. Add the sugar and give it a little stir. 
4. Use an immersion blender (a hand/stick blender) to blend the soup or ladle into a standing blender and blend until smooth. If it's a little too thick, add a tbsp of water at a time to loosen it up until it reaches your desired consistency.
5.  Heat on low for another 10-15 minutes, while stirring every so often.
6. Garnish with extra parm (this is a must!) and you are ready to serve with a hunk of warm bread!

P.S. this is my favourite soup recipe, especially for when I'm feeling lazy at uni. The ingredients are all super cheap and widely available, and now you have no excuse not to try this out! What are you waiting for? x

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