Red Lentil Soup with Thyme

Lentils are highly beneficial to maintain a good heart, are high in protein and fibre and are full of flavour.  So this simple Lentil Soup will delight you with a lemon and hot chilli twist, which you can make as hot as you like! I use fresh herbs from my garden or windowsill to garnish this very tasty dish!
 Serves 4-6

3-4 tablespoons olive oil
3 sticks of celery, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup of red lentils
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon freshly cut thyme leaves
1 medium onion, finely sliced
3 carrots, sliced thinly
1 medium potato, peeled and sliced
1.2 litres of vegetable stock
1-2 lemons, juice of
2 strips of lemon rind
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot chilli sauce, to taste

What to do
In a large heavy-based pan, gently fry the onions and garlic in the olive oil to soften.

Add the celery, carrots, potato, bay leaves, seasoning, cumin, fresh thyme, lemon strips, lemon juice and cook until they start to soften.

Then add the lentils and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 25 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and lemon strips, then liquidise with a hand stick blender in the pan.

Stir in the hot chilli sauce to taste, or 2 teaspoons, and serve with extra freshly chopped thyme sprinkled on top.