A post-Christmas visit for me and my pal Anne to our local garden centre resulted in me having a bowl of really delicious lentil and vegetable soup, and nothing would do me except try to replicate it at home. I searched most of my reliable cookbooks, but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to go it alone. Here’s my resulting recipe – perfect for cold days, or for taking into work with you for that short-lived health kick of the New Year! In fact this yummy soup might actually make you stick to your ‘new-year; new-me’ resolution a little longer!
The other amazing thing is that this soup only took about 30 minutes to make, start to finish..so what are we waiting for?
- A large cooking pot
- chopping board and sharp knife
- Weighing scales
- A sieve
- Hand blender
INGREDIENTS: This is exactly what I used (I measured everything for you before I added it to the pot!)
- 250g peeled potatoes, chopped small and rinsed in the sieve.
- 250g chopped carrots
- 200g chopped onion
- half a green chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 200g red lentils (I used Crazy Jack’s Organic Red Lentils) In case you’re worried – no, you don’t have to soak them
- 750mls Vegetable or Chicken stock – See NOTES
- Large knob of butter
- a dessertspoon of Rapeseed Oil.
- Truffle Oil and finely chopped parsley (optional – see notes)
- Add the butter and oil to the pot on a medium-high heat
- When it’s melted, add all the vegetables and coat well in the buttery oil.
- Add the lentils
- Pour over the hot stock, stir well, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potato and carrots are cooked (try squeezing them against the side of the pot – they should crush easily)
- Check that the lentils are also cooked using the same method.
- When all is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Using the hand-blender, blitz until the soup is fairly smooth, but still has some texture – I tend to pulse the blender, so that it doesn’t become overly processed. Naturally, you can blitz away happily until it’s perfect for YOU!
- Taste and adjust the seasoning – the stock might be quite salty, so check before adding any more. I needed to add both salt and pepper today.
- Pour into a bowl, sprinkle some chopped parsley over, and then as the final flourish – drizzle a little Truffle Oil over, then sit down and congratulate yourself on this really excellent soup you’ve just made!
- I started this recipe off with a litre of Stock (I use Vegetable Bouillon stock) and I felt it was a little too much, so I’ve changed the recipe to 750mls – see what you think yourself.
- I used Rooster potatoes, which cook really quickly in any event, but Maris Pipers would do very nicely too.
- Pretentious and all as I am, I didn’t buy the Truffle oil – I think that was Mr Saturday Night.. I found the tiny little bottle in a cupboard, and thought it might go well with the lentils, which it did. It certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I liked it One of the other recipes that I looked at recommended a drizzle of Chilli Oil, so if you have that hanging about, give it a go. A drizzle of Sesame oil is delicious too!
- If you have a little cooked ham from a previously-cooked joint hanging about, shred some and add it to the soup after you’ve blitzed it – it adds a lovely extra layer of flavour. Don’t add salt though, until you’ve tasted the end product.