Smokey Tomato & Rice Soup

The days are starting to stretch and we have snowdrops under our birch tree.  I bought a bunch of daffodils at the supermarket last weekend and there’s a cherry tree down our road that has a few blossoms on it.  I’m not saying Spring is here or even that it’s on its way, but I am  slowly starting to remember what spring is like and that’s really rather nice indeed.

All this said, it was -5 oC this morning and my fingers almost dropped off scraping frost off the car.   Soup season is most definitely still here.  This one’s a cracker.  🙂

Smokey Tomato & Rice Soup

Olive oil

2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped

25g rice

25g red lentils

1 tspn smoked paprika (you may need to increase this if your smoked paprika isn’t really smokey)

1 tspn paprika

1 tpsn cumin

½ tspn cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if your smoked paprika is hot you won’t need this  – taste the spices)

500g passata (sieved tomatoes – you could use normal tinned tomatoes but the consistency will be less velvety)

1.5 ltr chicken or vegetable stock (made from a cube is fine)

150g frozen sweetcorn

  • Heat a good splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the onion and celery and fry gently until softened (about 10 mins).  Add the garlic and spices to the pan and stir well.
  • Cook for another minute before adding the rice, lentils, passata and stock.  Simmer gently for 20 mins.  Add the sweetcorn and cook for a futher 10 mins until the rice and lentils are soft.
  • Season and serve.