It may be March, there may well be a few daffodils bravely nodding their golden heads in the stiff breeze up here on Waltons Mountain, but deary me my friends, it is still bloody cold!
It is still wintery and we are not yet ready to cast off the thermals and embrace salad living, oh no, we are still firmly based in the land of soup and comfort food.
Todays Puy Lentil Soup is hearty and filling and really rather good for you.
I always think that Puy lentils are the rather glamorous French cousins of our humble red lentils that formed the basis of my Mum’s lentil soup. Puy lentils hail from France and can be bought dried or in cans. I always keep a few cans in the larder as they are a super healthy addition to soups and stews and taste great too.
Lentils of any type bring a thickness to soup that can make it into a meal in itself if you serve it with a hunk of crusty bread or a few tasty crackers. There is nothing light and airy about this soup, it ‘sticks to your ribs’ as we say in Scotland, meaning that it fills you up and keeps you going.
This recipe makes enough puy lentil soup for four servings. I tend to make soup with whatever I have to hand in the kitchen so rarely make huge batches at a time as I am very often just using up a couple of sticks of celery or a few carrots and nothing has been pre-planned and shopped for.
That to me is the joy in cooking. Getting creative with what you have around you and not stressing about exact measurements of having to have the perfect ingredient to hand. Okay so sometimes I get it wrong and need to make changes along the way, but it is usually edible and very often really rather good.
I’ve finished this soup off with a drizzle of olive oil and a spoonful of homemade Dukkah which the keen reader will recall we made a couple of weeks ago.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 carrots chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 x 400g/14 oz can of Puy lentils
- 1 lt/1¾ pints chicken stock
- 4 slices parma ham
- 1 tsp dried oregano and thyme
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil/dukkah to serve
- Heat the oil in a soup pan and saute the onion for 5 minutes then add the garlic for 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery and all spices and herbs and cook for 10 minutes.
- Drain and rince the puy lentils and add to the pan along with the stock and parma ham.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Scoop out half of the soup and blitz the remainder in the pan with a stick blender.
- Return the remainder of the soup to the pan so you have a good mix of smooth and chunky veggies to give great texture .
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a spoonful of dukkah.