This is a hearty, homemade Italian-style tomato and vegetarian meatball soup, with lentils and fresh basil. It is perfect served with a touch of cheese and a chunk of seeded bread.
For the soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 red pepper deseeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 800ml vegtable stock, made with 1 low-salt vegetable stock cube
- 150g dried red lentils
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 300g Quorn Swedish-style meatballs
- 20g fresh basil
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 chunks seeded bread
- 1 tbsp Italian-style hard cheese grated (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion gently for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock, followed by the lentils and tomato purée. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
- Place the Quorn meatballs on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until browned and heated through.
- Roughly chop ¾ of the basil. When the soup is ready, remove from the heat, season with black pepper and process with a hand blender for a few seconds to roughly blend the soup, but retain some texture. Stir through the Quorn meatballs and chopped basil.
- Serve the soup in warm bowls with the remaining whole basil leaves, a chunk of seeded bread and an optional sprinkling of Italian-style hard cheese.