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Spiced carrot & lentil soup


A delicious, spicy soup, packed full of iron and low fat to boot. This is a great winter warmer and dead easy to make - it's ready in under half an hour! (Serves 4)

Ingredients
    * 2 tsp cumin seeds
    * pinch chilli flakes
    * 2 tbsp olive oil
    * 600g carrots , washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
    * 140g split red lentils
    * 1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
    * 125ml milk
    * plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve

Method
   1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
   2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

Make it Moroccan

Substitute the chilli flakes and cumin seeds for a few teaspoons of harissa paste. You could add cooked shredded chicken at the end of cooking, too.

Make it dairy-free

For a richer but dairy-free alternative, use a can of reduced-fat coconut milk instead of the milk.

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