For 6-8 portions you need
20ml olive or canola oil
2-3 medium white onions, finely chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic crushed
30ml ground turmeric
15ml ground cinnamon
3ml ground black pepper
20ml ground ginger or 3cm fresh ginger root finely grated
1 small mild red chilli such as cayenne or Thai, finely sliced (optional)
400ml dried brown or red lentils (or a mix of the two)
1,5l good quality vegetable stock
1 can chickpeas, do not drain
About 2 liters fresh spinach or Swiss chard, sliced into 5mm ribbons
Juice of 1 lemon
Thick, creamy yoghurt
A sprinkling of paprika
Heat the oil and add the onions, cook slowly until they are glossy
Add the dry spices and cook for a further 2 minutes
Add the lentils and the stock. Simmer for 40-60 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Add the chick peas and the can juice. You can prepare up to this point the day before.
If the soup has thickened too much you can dilute it with a little extra vegetable stock.
Add the spinach, the salt and then lemon juice. Bring the soup to the boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, bearing in mind that the spice flavour must be dominant.
Serve the soup hot with a few dollops of thick yoghurt, a dusting of paprika and a few pomegranate rubies for an exotic finish