When possible, we like to put something on the table over Shabbat which is connected with the weekly Torah reading. This week is one of the most obvious and easiest examples – we read of Esau selling his birthright to Yaakov for a bowl of red stew. Every year I try to make a red lentil soup which is delicious and simple – originally from a recipe book from Crank’s – a vegetarian place in London.
As with many soups, quantities are approximate – the original recipe called for 3/4 litres of tomato juice and after wondering what to do with the remainder of the container I opted for a bloody mary – now I just pour in the whole litre) and you can certainly tweak the flavourings.
1 large chopped onion
2 or 3 large tomatoes – or as many as you want if you need to get rid of some which are past their prime
1 cup red lentils
1 litre of tomato juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp Chili powder (optional – I’d put in more but my wife doesn’t like it too spicy)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Saute the onions
Add the other ingredients
Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils break down – about 45 minutes
Serve with some crusty bread