1. Finely chop all the vegetables then saute the onion, garlic and ginger in oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and the stock and bring to the boil.
4. Add the spices, the coconut milk and the lentils and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir to ensure it doesn’t stick.
5. Add the basmati rice and cook for another 15 minutes.
Pass an immersion blender through the soup, but don’t blend for long – you want to gently blur the veg, not blitz them until it’s smooth.
6. Leave overnight to meld. This is essential with this soup, as the flavours develop over time.
Arabian Nights should be gently fragrant, perfumed and exotic. The texture should be chunky and the flavours balanced, not too coconut-y or tomato-y. The chilli should be a very gentle note; not dominant. The sumac gives a lemon zing and the cinnamon is warming. Each scent and flavour should meld into a balanced whole, so fiddle with the spicing until you are happy!