As we say goodbye to October and hello to November, we will be welcoming even colder weather. We’ve certainly been feeling the bite of winter this week, so we decided to share a soup recipe that is full of warming and filling lentils! Did you also know that they’re packed full of iron? Perfect as a starter, or with crusty bread for lunch, this soup is ideal for this time of the year.
For the vegetable stock
- 4 carrots
- 1 onion
- 3 sticks celery, trimmed and washed
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 5-6 parsley stalks, leaves reserved for garnish
- pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the main soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- sea salt and black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 rashers smoked back bacon, fat removed, sliced into small pieces
- 200g red lentils, washed thoroughly
- 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes
- 1 litre homemade vegetable stock (see above)
- parsley leaves (from above), finely chopped
- First of all, make the vegetable stock. Grate the vegetables and place (along with any ends that you can’t grate) into a heatproof bowl. Add the thyme, bay leaves and the stalks from the parsley. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the veg with 1 litre of boiling water, and leave to steep for 10 minutes or until cool. Once cool, strain the stock through a sieve and discard the vegetables.
- For the main soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry gently for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and chilli, and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are completely soft but not coloured. Add the bacon and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Add the lentils and tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with your spoon. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add enough of the vegetable stock to cover (you may need all of it). Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are completely soft. Turn off the heat.
- Pour half of the soup into a blender and pulse until smooth. Return to the pan with the remaining soup and heat through. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Divide the soup between serving bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Doesn’t this sound like a great winter warmer? And making your own vegetable stock will help to fill this soup with even more goodness! This is sure to be one of our favourites this month.