This fragrant warming broth is good at all times of the year, it's relatively simple to make and always proves to be popular. You can use vegetable stock cubes instead of fresh stock. If you don't make the chorizo, it's delicious with good pitta slices, pistachios and chilli oil.

Serves 6 (the broth)


A little olive oil for cooking

2 red onions diced

2 bulbs fennel diced

1 green pepper diced

2 large carrots diced

4 cloves garlic crushed and chopped

1 inch ginger fine chopped

4 kaffir lime leaves

2 medium red chillis (seeded and fine chopped)

2 teaspoons ground fennel

2 teaspoons ground fenugreek

Good pinch cinnamon

½ gm saffron

120 ml sherry

1.5 litres good vegetable stock

250 gm red split lentils

Good amount of sea salt and ground pepper to serve


In a good 4 litre stainless steel pan on a medium heat, sauté the diced onion for 2 minutes in a little olive oil, add the garlic, ginger and chilli, sauté for 2 minutes more. Add all the diced vegetables and the ground fennel, fenugreek and cinnamon. Sauté for 4-5 minutes whilst stirring.

Add the sherry and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the lime leaves and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and add the saffron, simmer for 4 minutes then finally add the lentils. Simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils are just cooked and al dente, season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cool and keep for up to 3 days.