Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Luscious Lentils

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf.

The days are cooling rapidly which signals the emergence of warm soups for lunch to me. I have a favourite! Warm, nourishing lentil and vegetable soup speaks volumes to me. It was given to me as Leek and Lentil soup as follows:

30g butter
3 small leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 bacon rashers, chopped
1 cup red lentils
5 cups water
2 chicken stock cubes
½ cup cream (optional)
2 tabs parsley

Melt butter in large saucepan, add leeks, celery, bacon. Cover, cook on low 10 minutes. Add lentils, water, stock cubes, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Puree. Add cream and parsley. (Surely this last step is an absolute indulgence. The parsley from our garden is garnish enough for me and mine.)

I have made it so regularly and changed it nearly every time depending on what is in the fridge. Today I replace the leeks (now costing $1.50 each, heaven forbid) with an onion or two. I have added pumpkin to make it creamier and cauliflower to make it lighter and fluffier, often a carrot goes in too for extra flavour. I find I prefer to use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) than butter, or perhaps a combination of both, especially if I do use leeks (they love to braise in the butter). I have also found the joy of using Persian red lentils organically grown in Victoria. They are much more wholesome and nourishing than the split red lentils you can find around the place. Much more dense and leave you feeling more satisfied.

This is an absolute staple for me now. So easy, so nourishing! My babies like it to. (At least when they were babies!!)

Happy cooking!


Anonymous said...

One thing I recall about this soup was you saying it added to the flavour to add salt and pepper first to give it a little fry off and I have proved that myself. What I really like about it, apart from the obvious flavour, is that I always have some ingredients to hand in that doesn't seem to matter a lot which vegies one uses - so if it is a cool Saturday or Sunday (I don't usually bother cooking soup just for myself although I do enjoy the leftovers), its so easy to put on a pot and leave it to simmer.

Aunty Marian

Rest is not idleness said...

Hi Cee,

Thanks for popping by my blog also.
I like the sound of your lentil and vege soup. I will have to look out for the Persian red lentils that you mention.
take care,

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