Lentil and Vegetable Soup

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veg and Red Lentil soup (3)

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?

EQUIPMENT:

  • A large cooking pot
  • chopping board and sharp knife
  • Weighing scales
  • A sieve
  • Hand blender

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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.                    Lentil and Vegetable Soup (3)
  • 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)

METHOD:

  • 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)
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These are all ready to be blended

  • 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!

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NOTES:Lentil and Vegetable Soup (10)

  • 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.

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About

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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