Serves 2 generously


1 onion

1 fat clove of garlic or 2 smaller ones

1 tablespoon oil,

100g dried lentils or 200g tinned ones, any colour

1 litre stock,

zest and juice of 2 lemons or 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice,

a mugful of fresh or half a mug (80g-ish) of frozen spinach, 

a fistful of coriander, stalks and all, 

a pinch of chilli, 


  1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook them on a gentle heat until they are softening, for 8–10 minutes.
  2. Rinse the lentils and tip them into the pan, followed by the stock, then stir gently. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. If using dried lentils, carefully spoon off any greyish scum that rises to the surface.
  3. Grate the zest from the lemons, if using, and squeeze out the juice into a mug or glass. Fish out the pips.
  4. Roughly chop the spinach and coriander
  5. Stir the lemon zest and juice, the spinach and coriander into the soup.
  6. Whiz everything together with a blender or in a food processor, if you have one, or leave it chunky if you prefer.
  7. Scatter over some breadcrumbs and a little chilli or paprika if you feel fancy, and enjoy hot.