Typical nutritional content (per portion)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 small leeks, thinly sliced
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock
4 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
100g (4oz) red lentils
1 bouquet garni (small bunch of herbs- mixture of parsley stems, thyme and bay leaf tied together in muslin or piece of string)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and leeks. Cook gently for a few minutes until softened. Stir in the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, without allowing the vegetables to brown.
Pour the stock into the pan and add the tomatoes, lentils and bouquet garni. Season lightly with pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 30minutes or until the lentils are completely tender. Remove the bouquet garni.
Pour into bowls. Scatter the parsley over to serve.