Claire Thomson is The Guardian's 'Cooking For Kids' food columist. A chef, mother and author, she writes about family food - cooking proper food with real flavour that kids and adults can enjoy together. Here she shares a recipe from her first published book 'The Five O'Clock Apron'.
When Claire first introduced us to 'The Five O'Clock Apron' she kindly pointed out that she wears three Toast dresses in her book! Here she wears our AW14 Corduroy dress. Photograph by Elena Heatherwick for The Guardian.
SYRIAN LENTIL SOUP
I first had this thick soup cooked for me by a chef friend who worked in London’s Moro restaurant. Earthy bold lentils made piquant with coriander, yoghurt and lemon, this is just one of the many ways my kids will wolf them down.
- 300g lentils (green or brown)
- 3 medium onions, finely sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 3 heaped tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- a large bunch of fresh coriander (stalks and leaves separated)
- 1.75 litres cold water
- 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- ½ a clove of garlic, crushed
- juice of ½ a lemon
- chilli flakes
Soak the lentils in a bowl of cold water, rinsing them several times to remove any dirt or grit.
Over a moderate heat, cook the onions in the oil for a good 10 minutes. You want them soft and beginning to turn golden.
Add the garlic and toasted cumin and continue to fry over a moderate heat for another couple of minutes.
Add the coriander stalks and the water, or enough to more than cover the lentil mix. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Skim off any froth that surfaces. Turn the temperature down and continue to cook at a moderate bubble for about 30 minutes, watching the water level – you can always top it up a little if you need to.
While the lentils are cooking, mix the yoghurt with the crushed garlic and a pinch of salt.
When the lentils are ready, take them off the heat. You want the individual lentils to be completely squishable between two fingers and the whole to be a soupy mass.
Taste the lentils and add salt as needed. Add the lemon juice.
Serve the lentils in bowls and to each add a spoonful of seasoned yoghurt, some coriander leaves, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a spoonful of olive oil.
We like to eat this with warm flatbreads, to mop up the lentils.
This recipe is from Claire Thomson's book The Five O Clock Apron.