My good mate, Rock’s sharehouse developed their own time tested culinary ritual—at least once every month, all funds drained, he and his housemates loaded every vegetable and skerrick of produce lurking in their fridge into a giant pot in the hope that it might miraculously fuse into something digestible come the end of a 45 minute simmer. They called it ‘Tomato Fuck’ and occasionally it was rather good.
Sh.k appreciates those simple meals that also happen to taste fabulous.
After overdosing on chilli con carne one year, I become an unlikely vegetarian, which I somehow stuck with for two years, barring the odd chicken wing and pork crackling. (Pig eventually lured me back; bacon, the insatiable gateway meat).
In those first scary days of vegetarianism I had no idea what to cook—everything for so long had been meat-based in my world. After a while, I pulled together a selection of neat, reliable and simple recipes, one of which Rock and his housemates might have been quite proud of. With just a tad more panache than ‘Tomato Fuck’, Moroccan Chick Pea & Lentil Soup was a persistent kitchen winner, spicy, zesty good friend to the willing vegetarian as well as the budget conscious.
Warning: make sure soak those lentils, and use extra discretion if planning to combine red kidney bean with chick pea—otherwise, two words: ‘fart soup’).
- 800ml Tomatoes, tinned
- 800ml Vegetable stock
- 400g Chickpeas, tinned or dried and soaked
- 200g Lentils, soaked overnight
- 1 Tbls of olive oil
- 1 Red onion, finedly diced
- 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbls cumin
- 1 Tsp ginger, finely diced
- 1 Tsp harissa
- 1 Tsp turmeric
- 1 Small bunch coriander, chopped
- Turkish/Lebanese pita flatbreads to serve
- Heat stove on medium-high and in a medium-large sized pot, combine oil with onion, garlic, ginger, harissa, coriander, cumin and turmeric. Sizzle for 2 mins, or until fragrant and onion browned.
- MIx in tomatoes and stock. and bring to the boil.
- Add lentils. Turn heat to low and simmer for 25 mins.
- Add chickpeas, cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
- Fry flatbreads in a pan set to high heat with a slash of oil.
- Serve when golden, with steaming hot bowls of delicious soup.