Puy lentils, grown in France are just wonderful in soups. They thicken without turning to sludge. They don't break down like other lentils and keep their lovely little shape, giving any soup which is made with them a bit of a bite, a very delicious bite!
I love them in this soup, where they are a beautiful contrast against the soft, buttery vegetables. The oregano adds a heady tang which also adds some taste pleasure to the mix.
Todd usually only likes his soups pureed . . . I like a bit of texture in my soups. This soup pleases on both levels because you do get that pureed texture from the meltingly tender vegetables and a lovely bit of texture from the lentils.
It makes a lovely, filling, bone warming and hearty lunch for these cold winter days . . . something which I need as I am not battling the third cold and chest infection that I've had in as many months . . . getting a bit tired of this I say . . . more than a bit tired!
Soup . . . the ultimate comfort food. Really. I like to think that when I choose a bowl of soup . . . I am making a healthy choice.
Chunky Puy Lentil and Veggie Soup*
Serves 4 to 6
Delicious, warming and filling. Perfect January food!
2 TBS butter
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tsp dried oregano
400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes plus juice (2 cups)
200g Puy lentils (approximately 1 cup)
1 litre vegetable stock (about 4 1/4 cups)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese to serve
crusty bread, toasted and butter, to serve
Melt the butter in a large heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the carrots, leeks, onion and garlic, stirring to coat with the butter. Add a healthy pinch of salt, cover and allow to cook for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the chilli flakes, oregano, lentils, tomatoes and stock. Cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes or so, until the lentils are cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. Ladle into heated bowls. Serve with buttered toast on the side, and grated cheese on top.
Something oh so tasty and yet oh so bad over at The Cottage Today, Easy Cheesy Burgers.