Lentil, spinach and cumin soup

A filling Middle Eastern inspired dinner, topped with crunchy bacon and pine nuts.

Serves: 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 150g brown or green lentils
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • 200g spinach
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 25g pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 rashers of bacon cooked until crispy

Heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and add the sliced onions. Cook, covered, for 8-10 minutes until softened. Remove half the onions and set aside.

Continue to cook the onions left in the pan for 10-15 minutes until deep brown, sweet and caramelised. Remove and set aside for the garnish.

Return the softened onions to the pan, add the garlic, coriander, cumin seeds and lentils, then stir for 1-2 minutes until well coated in oil. Add more oil if necessary. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, uncovered, until the lentils are soft.

Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Transfer half the soup to a blender and liquidise to make a purée. Stir this back into the soup. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper.

Divide the soup equally among 4 bowls, add a spoonful of plain yogurt to each and scatter the pine nuts and fried onions over the top. Serve immediately.