Friday, 21 September 2012
September is soup time! Abruzzese Lentil Soup
Seeing as it is feeling a bit nippy outside, it seems right and proper that my mind turns to soup. In a change from my usual carrot and coriander fixation which seems to have put the rest of the family off, probably because I make it so often, I decided to look for something completely different, something homely, something uplifting and something that you can feel revitalising you as you eat it, and when I made this yesterday, it did make me very happy to eat it. Indeed, it was obvious that it was good for you and, it stopped me from making myself a bacon buttie which was what I was craving, as earlier I had walked passed the shops back from taking Lola and Finn to school the wondrous smell of frying bacon and toast wafted from shop doorways. Hell and heaven all at once. How I stopped myself from buying one I will never know.
Happily this soup went some way to sating my appetite, so for that reason I am blogging it. It tastes lovely and fills you up. And it is a Jill Dupleix recipe from her book 'Good Cooking'. A very apt title as everything I have cooked from this book has been good. Better than good, in fact. And I have decided that lentils (in this case, Puy) are my new best friend. They look beautiful, they taste beautiful and they are making me beautiful. I think.
My adaptations: I left the celery out, mainly because I didn't have any but also because no one except me would eat it if I had left it in and left it chunky. I also mistakenly drained my lentil water away in a moment of delirium, so made up some chicken stock to act as the liquid that went into the soup at the point in the method where the lentils are added to the soup base.
Abruzzese Lentil Soup, adapted from Good Cooking by Jill Dupleix
Serves 4 - 6 ish
250g small brown or green lentils (I used Puy)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced (Didn't have any, so didn't bother)
400g canned tomatoes, chopped
400g canned chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
Rinse the lentils and place in a pot with the garlic cloves, bay leaves and 1.5 litres of cold water. Cook for 30 minutes or until almost tender, skimming occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery (if using) and cook, stirring well, for 10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes.
After adding the tomatoes, stir well, then add the lentils and their water. (Here, I made a mistake and absent mindedly drained my lentils and poured the water away, so I made up a litre of chicken stock from some bouillon cubes and added it to the pan with the lentils instead)
Simmer for 20 minutes until nice and soupy. Add the chickpeas, salt and pepper, and simmer for a further 10 minutes or longer, adding extra water if necessary. I like my soup reasonably thick so didn't add anything.
To serve, stir in the parsley and serve in warm soup bowls. And maybe some bread. That would be really nice!