1 cooked beetroot
1 stick celery
2 tbsp vegetable oil
125g split red lentils
1 3/4 pints water or unsalted vegetable stock
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
Peel and chop the onion, beetroot and tomato; wash and slice the celery. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry all the prepared vegetables gently for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Wash the lentils and add them to the vegetables, along with the water or stock. Bring up to the boil, then simmer the soup gently for about 30 minutes, or until everything is cooked. Liquidise the soup, then season it carefully with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice. Return the soup to the rinsed-out saucepan and reheat it before serving.
This really is an incredible red colour and is deliciously thick and smooth.
I'll never quite understand the part about rinsing out the pan though. I whizz mine in the pan it cooked in and it's just fine!