Spicy lentil soup with chicken and ham

Looking for a healthy meal idea with plenty of protein? Whether you’re in search of a warming winter lunch or a nutritious dinner, this spicy lentil soup with chicken and ham is just the thing. The warming broth is studded with chunks of shredded poultry and roast ham, bulked out with lentils for a filling bowl of goodness. Sprinkle your serving of soup with finely chopped chilli or leaves of coriander for a dose of extra flavour.

spicy lentil soup
Chris Alack

SERVES 6

1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1-2 medium hot red chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
1 level tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
3 banana shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
1⁄2 tsp ground coriander
350g red lentils, rinsed
1.2 litres chicken stock
400g cooked chicken or turkey, shredded
200g lean roast ham, shredded
sea salt
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
3-4 tbsp lime juice

1. Heat the tablespoon of groundnut or vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the red chillies, ginger root, sliced garlic cloves and shallots and fry for 3-5 minutes until softened and starting to colour, stirring occasionally, then stir in the ground cumin and coriander and the red lentils. Add the chicken stock, bring the saucepan of soup to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

2. Stir the chicken or turkey and lean roast ham into the soup, season it with the sea salt and add the coconut milk, bring back to the boil, then add the lime juice to taste.

SERVING IDEA Top your hot bowl of spicy lentil soup with a generous dollop of your favourite coconut yoghurt or sour cream and a scattering of chopped fresh coriander and chilli.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.