Sugar, spice, and all things nice… like beetroot? Egyptian Lentil Soup Recipe

Close-up picture of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum).

Close-up picture of cumin seeds (Cuminum cyminum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love a bit of spice. It livens up some really cheap food and makes it taste delicious – especially pulses and lentils! So I loved this recipe from ‘The Spice Routes’ – another cookbook from the World Food Cafe, which produces great ideas.

Egyptian lentil soup

2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
2 leeks
2 beetroots (I used pickled beetroot, which needed using up!)
1 potatoe
200g red lentils
Hot water/stock
Seasoning
Lemon

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a pan. Take out and grind. Add dash of olive oil to pan, and fry the chopped onion and garlic until soft. Add ground cumin. Then add rest of veggies, all chopped. Allow to sweat and cook a little. Then add red lentils and enough water and stock to cover everything. Let cook until lentils soft. Add lemon juice. Season, then blend. I used half a lemon because the beetroot would have made it too tart.

Delicious! I’d heartily recommend that cookbook.

Chilli recipe: cheap as chips

This is my favourite low budget recipe. It’s really quick to make and tastes delicious, and I think it must be less than $1 a portion (it’s certainly less than £1 for two)

Chilli and chips

Red onion
Oil
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin tomatoes
Chilli powder / paste to taste

To serve:
Tortilla chips

Optional:
Jalapeno chillis
Yoghurt
Grated cheese

Chop red onion and fry until quite soft. Add chilli to taste, beans and tomatoes. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 mins. Serve with tortilla chips (you can just dip these in to eat it, you don’t need forks!) and if you’ve got any, cheese and jalapenos. Delicious.