Nadiya's lentil soup and soda bread
This lentil soup is one of the first recipes I was ever taught. The lentils are simply cooked and are served with an even simpler five-spice soda bread, with absolutely no proving or kneading required. This may just be the most chilled-out meal you have ever made.
For the five-spice soda bread
- 250g/9oz wholemeal flour
- 250g/9oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp panch phoran
- 400ml/14fl oz buttermilk (see tip below)
For the lentils
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking paper.
For the soda bread, put the flours, salt, bicarbonate of soda and five-spice into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add a little over half the buttermilk. Bring the dough together by hand, adding more of the buttermilk if needed (you may not need any more).
As soon as all the flour is absorbed and the dough comes together, lightly flour the work surface, tip the dough onto it and roll into a neat ball. Place on the baking tray. Using a sharp knife, make a cut down the centre vertically and then the same horizontally to form a cross, cutting all the way down to the base. Bake on the middle shelf for 30 minutes, until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Put on a wire rack to cool.
While the bread is baking, wash the lentils, rinsing them till the water runs clear. Put the lentils into a pan with 1 litre of cold water, the bay leaf, red chilli, turmeric and salt. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the mixture should be thicker and the lentils will have broken up.
Melt the butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and fry until golden-brown. Pour the garlic and butter into the lentils and mix through. Now add the chopped coriander and take the pan off the heat. Serve the warm lentils with chunks of soda bread.
If you don’t have buttermilk, as most of us normally don’t, just mix 4 tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar with 400ml of milk, stir and leave to sit for 5 minutes. And hey presto – you have buttermilk.