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Almost Instant Tomato Tortilla Soup

Hate to cook but can't convince your family that breakfast cereal makes a perfectly good meal substitute? Arrived home late with nothing prepared and minimal energy? Or is 'Mother Hubbard' the best term to describe the current state of your bare, kitchen cupboard? Then have I got a recipe for you! Chopping a single onion, and adding pantry staples, is the only effort required to produce an entire potful of Tomato Tortilla Soup goodness. It doesn't get any better than that....and nor does this flavorful broth. Instant gratification in soup form.

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional) 2 cans (total 800 grams) chopped tomato 1 cup red lentils (no need to soak) 4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (parve) 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon dried basil Salt and pepper to taste 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste Tortilla matchsticks and basil/coriander leaves to serve (optional) Avocado cubes to garnish (optional) 1: Heat the oil and fry the onion for a few minutes. 2: Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil, and then turn down and simmer for 20 minutes till lentils are soft. 3: Process till smooth, season to taste, and serve garnished with tortilla matchsticks and fresh herbs/avocado if you want to be fancy. COOK'S NOTES: Smoked paprika is a great addition to your spice rack and adds delicious, Mexican-inspired flavor to everything. To make tortilla matchsticks, cut tortilla (currently on sale) in half and then cut into fine strips. Drizzle over olive oil, sprinkle over paprika and salt, and bake at 180 C for 20 minutes till toasted. Tortilla strips can be prepared in advance and stored. Soup is obviously delicious even without them.

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