200 gm brown, green or ‘puy’ lentils
1 desert spoon tomato purée
750 ml water
150 ml olive oil
1 small onion chopped finely
1 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano (optional)
Ground black pepper
Rinse the lentils in a sieve and put to one side.
Heat 2 table spoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until it has softened but not too brown.
Add the tomato purée and stir into the oil/onion mixture and cook for a few seconds. Add the water, the remaining olive oil, the bay leaf, the oregano (if you’re using it) and salt and pepper,
Bring it to the boil. Once boiling turn it down and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes and add the lentils.
The next stage depends on which lentils you’re using.
IF USING BLACK (‘PUY’) LENTILS In another pan put the rinsed lentils and cover with cold water. Bring this to the boil and allow to simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Drain completely and then add to the pan with the tomato mixture.Allow this to simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils have cooked. Check the seasoning and serve.
IF USING BROWN OR GREEN LENTILS Just add the rinsed and drained lentils to the pan with the tomato sauce and simmer gently for about 20 minutes. Check frequently after about 15 minutes though, as you don’t want it to cook to a mush!
Which ever lentils you use, this is a fairly thick soup. Serve with bread, salty cheese and olives.