Mexican Lentil Soup

After enjoying the banana flavour in my Mole sauce the other week, I decided to give this lentil and plantain soup from Thomasina Myer’s ‘Wahaca’ cookbook. Thomasina Myers was the winner of Masterchef a few years ago and she has a chain of Mexican restaurants in the UK called Wahaca. As the original recipe calls for very ripe plantains, I thought I could get away with using bananas. The ones I used were fairly ripe and I think that helps the flavour to come through more. This soup also really benefits from a nice kick of chilli.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 500g green lentils
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 very ripe plantains/bananas
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 litre stock
  • coriander leaves
  • sour cream to serve
  • 1.5 tsp chilli oil
  • 1 carrot

Method

1.) Peel one of the onions and chop in half. Peel the carrot and chop in half. Peel a garlic clove and bash it a bit.

2.) Boil some water, pour over the lentils in a saucepan, add the bay leaves, the garlic, the carrot and the onion.

3.) Cook for about 30 minutes, until soft.

4.) While this is cooking, heat a frying pan and dry roast the tomatoes. I struggled a bit with this as the tomatoes kept rolling around in the pan. I don’t think you can go too wrong with this as they’ll just break up when you cook them later. Set them aside.

5.) Peel the other garlic and chop it up finely. Also peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and slice one of the bananas.

6.) Heat some oil in the frying pan and add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, fry for one more minute then add the banana and the oregano. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle in half of the sugar. Turn the heat up and caramelise the banana.

7.) Add the tomatoes into the frying pan and let them break down. Chop up the coriander leaves.

8.) Drain the lentils and stir through the contents of the frying pan, lime juice and stock and the coriander stalks.

9.) Simmer for 15 minutes.

10.) To prepare for eating, peel and slice up the other banana and caramelise with the rest of the sugar.

11.) When the lentils are done, blitz with an immersion blender enough to thicken the soup a little but that there are still plenty of whole lentils.

12.) Season with more salt and the chilli oil.

13.) Serve in bowls with the coriander leaves and a dollop of sour cream.

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