Reader recipes: Andrew’s spicy lentil and tomato soup

I had this lovely email yesterday, with a delicious soup recipe that sounds perfect for winter lunches or light suppers… If I was making it with what was in the cupboard, i’d use a veg stock cube instead of bouillon and trusty chopped tomatoes, but only because I usually have them kicking around! Thanks Andrew for sharing, I hope you all enjoy this one.

Love your website and what you do for budget cooking and food poverty awareness. I made this the other day and it was lovely (and cheap):

Spicy Tomato and Lentil Soup

One small onion
One leek
One small carrot
Tsp olive/sunflower oil
6 medium fresh tomatoes
1 tsp dried organo
Tablespoon tomato puree
Half tsp cayenne pepper
Tablespoon veg bouillon powder (low salt)
200g Red lentils


Put tomatoes in boiling water.
Gently fry finely chopped onion, leek and grated carrot until soft but not brown.
Use water from tomatoes to make up veg stock, skin and chop toms.
Add toms, oregano, cayenne pepper and puree to pan and fry the mix until soft but not sticking to the pan (about 5 mins).
Mash down and bit with potato masher (you can blend if you like smooth soup, I don’t).
Add veg stock and bring to the boil.
Wash lentils until water is clear and then add to soup.
Cook gently until lentils are soft but still intact, add more water, seasoning as necessary.
Great with fresh homemade wholemeal bread.

Don’t know how much it costs but not much, tastes delicious and makes absolutely loads.



If you have a favourite frugal recipe you would like to share, please email it to – thanks!

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe


  1. Thanks Jack

    I had two bowls last night and it was lovely. If I concoct any more I’ll send them to you, keep up the awesome work.


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. If you cut a cross in the bottom of the tomato before putting them in the boiling water itmakes peeling them easier, although these day I find that life is too short to peel tomatoes! I flavour my tomato soup with a bay leaf and after blending/mashing add a bit of milk before reheating. My daughter hates soup but I trick her into eating it by cooking a lot of pasta in her portion, I found some mini alphabet pasta that cooks in about 3 mins but you could break up spaghetti small. It kind of makes it like pasta in tinned sauce, except much yummier and with less additives and she likes dipping her bread in it. I’m training her to eat soup as it’s a great way of using up left over and unsightly veg. Just had a bowl of cauliflower soup that had loads of stalk in. If you trim the tough outer skin off you can chop up the inside of the stalk, it tastes as good as the florets but doesn’t look as pretty on a plate. My husband thinks he doesn’t like it, but he doesn’t notice it in soup or cauliflower cheese.

  3. Monday’s Soup Day in our house and I try to come up with new soups occasionally, so thx for this idea 🙂

    One of our favourites is so simple I have a problem calling it “soup” while also thoroughly enjoying it … You know how some veggies are healthier when eaten raw or only slightly blanched (whatever slightly means) but how autumn/winter’s not the time for loads of raw veggies, at least not as a main part of a meal?

    So: you take a small courgette, wash and dry it or peel it (whichever you prefer) and slice it into thin spaghetti (with a Julienne or a knife), taking care not to make the slices too long (4-5 cm should do). Put the thin slices into your serving dish (e.g. a pot) and just leave them there.

    Boil some water (I take 1000 ml for 2 persons, cause it is our Soup Day, meaning we eat only soup for lunch (and maybe some desert or fruit later), add salt and pepper and a spoon of oil and pour it over your courgette spaghetti in the “serving dish” – no more cooking at this point. Just lay the table and serve the soup, sprinkling it with dry parsley or not. By the time you start eating it, the courgette will be warm and soft, but not overcooked.

    If you want to, you can add eggs (1 per person, cracked) into the boiling water (salted, peppered and with oil), switch to medium heat and cook them till they are hard enough to be served – and then you go and pour it all over the impatient courgette 🙂

    BTW: a word of warning: I think courgette spaghetti is a middle class staple as well, nowadays (obviously … you may need a frenchie tool called Julienne …). Be ready to suffer for that.

    • I love courgette soup. I add a chopped red pepper and chicken stock cube and sometimes small diced carrot. It is very refreshing in the summer and a good way to use up a glut of courgettes in the growing season.

      • Yes, it would be a pity not to enjoy them. I often add some carrot slices, too, especially when it’s their season and they are so very yummy.

        I chopped a red pepper today and put it in …my kale pesto! 🙂 (I am not a fan of lemons and red pepper is a great source of vitamin C, too)

  4. I make something very similar at least twice a week for my kids. The two youngest are incredibly fussy about eating veg but will happily scoff a bowl of soup with bread (yes, even in the middle of summer!). They never get bored with it, thank goodness, it’s so cheap and nutritious.

  5. I made this last night but didn’t have any carrots so used a bit of butternut squash instead. very good!

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