Spicy Lentil & Tomato Soup

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Thanks to Zivah who sent me this recipe for Spicy Lentil and Tomato Soup after I had seen a photo on Facebook! A lovely soup for cold and wintry days which I have already made twice.

Olive oil
1 medium onion peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
50 g dried split red lentils – can be doubled for thicker effect
1 vegetable stock cube, make up to 850ml with hot water
2 tablespoons tomato puree
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 2 sprigs, chopped to garnish

Heat a large saucepan, add olive oil and add the onion and celery. Cook stirring for 5 mins, add the garlic and chilli and cook for another 5 mins until tender and beginning to brown.

Add the lentils, stock, rosemary, tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins until the lentils are soft. Remove the rosemary.

Blend the soup using a hand blender until it is as smooth as you wish (optional) and season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot garnished with a sprinkling of chopped rosemary.