MandSI love soup! I have been on a soup binge all winter. Now, while in London, I have had soup as a meal just about every day to fight the cool raw English weather. I am big fan of the soups from British retailer Marks & Spencer.

I am a big fan of the food hall and food specialty shops of Marks & Spencer, and have purchased many of my meals from them on my many trips to London over the years.

This year I discovered their soups, especially their Spicy Lentil Soup (which is yummy) and their Tomato Basil Soup, which is makes me pine for the start of autumn when both tomatoes and basil are abundant in my own garden.

The Spicy Lentil Soup has led me to search for a recipe to make a similar soup myself. I have been enjoying many variations of a lentil soup over the past few months, but have not made one that I would classify as “spicy.”

Looking more closely at the M&S soup’s label, the Spicy Lentil Soup is described as a “tomato soup with vegetables and red lentils” – which makes think the key is in the spices. The label suggests that garlic, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, turmeric and most notably “dried red chilies” make it spicy.

I am going to try to make my own spicy lentil soup, which will be a tomato soup base with the lentils and bits of other veggies – onions, carrots, potatoes and peas (also in the M&S soup) – and I will let you know how it turns out.

In the meantime, add the great soups of M&S to the long list of reasons I love visiting London and wish my tiny little New Hampshire mountain village had a grocery store – if not a Marks & Spencer.

Check out Marks & Spencer here (free shipping to North America).

Explore Marks & Spencer’s Food Hall here.