Getting home close to 7pm on a week night never puts one in much of a mood for  standing over a stove for 2 hours stirring,  sifting, reducing etcetera etcetera.  The lure of the microwave dinner or worse the chipper can be just too great. Therefore I tend to go for recipes that are are not overly complicated & that are relatively quick to make.

This is never more the case than when you’re feeling a little under the weather as myself & the ninja were last week. This warm spicy soup is brilliant for just such a night. It’s super easy & the chickpeas & kidney beans give it a lovely hearty texture so it feels like a full meal.

You’ll Need: (Serves 4)

2 tsp  Cumin Seeds or 2 tsp of ground cumin

Large pinch of Chilli flakes or a heaped teaspoon of chilli powder

1 red onion

140g split red lentils

850ml vegetable stock

40og can of tomatoes

200g carton of chickpeas of 1/2 can rinsed & drained

1/2 can of kidney beans, rinsed & drained

Small bunch coriander

Olive oil

4 tbsp 0% Greek yoghurt to serve


1.     Heat a large saucepan & dry-fry the cumin seeds & chilli flakes for 1    minute or until the start to jump around the pan. If you’re using the ground spices instead start on the next step.

2.     Add onion & oil & cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, stock & tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have softened.

3.     Whizz the soup in a blender until it’s a rough purée then pour back into the pan. Add the chickpeas & kidney beans. Heat gently and stir in the chopped coriander.

4.    Finish with a dollop of greek yoghurt and a sprig of coriander to serve.

5.     Serve with some oft buttered bread rolls.


You can simply leave out the kidney beans – this soup works just as well without them.

Instead of Greek yoghurt you can sprinkle the soup with some crumpled goat’s cheese – yummy.

Inspired by the BBC Good Food Blog.