Pick through your lentils for any foreign debris, rinse them 2 or 3 times, drain, and set aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the olive oil and the onion with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for another 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and stir it around for around 1 minute. Now add the cumin, garlic, paprika, mint, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper and sauté for 10 seconds to bloom the spices. Immediately add the lentils, water, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil.
After it has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot halfway, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have fallen apart and the carrots are completely cooked.
In the meanwhile make the paprika oil by swirling together the olive oil, paprika, and red pepper in a small sauce pan over medium heat. The moment you see the paprika starting to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. It’s done.
After the soup has cooked and the lentils are tender, blend the soup either in a blender or simply use a hand blender to reach the consistency you desire. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
Serve the soup with a drizzle of paprika oil, wedges of lemon, and extra mint and red pepper for everyone to customize to their taste.
150g red lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 heaped tablespoon sun dried tomato paste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 fat cloves garlic, pasted with sea salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon dried mint
½ teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (
2L water/veg/chicken broth
1 level teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon red chilli flakes