Friday, 19 September 2014

a september soup

Lighter reading today, I promise.

Lentil soup is staple food where I live. It is on offer at least twice a week in the school cafeteria and you can get it in most canteens. Or you can buy a Styrofoam cups full of steaming lentil soup at your local mobile van, where you buy your roll and sausage. It goes well with the roll and sausage. The sausage is always Lorne sausage, uniquely Scottish (I think), greasy but ever so delicious, skinless and square. On the few occasions that we have a fry-up, I cook the Lorne sausage first. Copious amounts of sausage fat will be released, perfect for frying the bacon, tattie scones and last, the eggs. It is divine and perfect for cold mornings when camping in the Highlands. But I digress.


To be honest, I am not a big fan of lentil soup, except if it is my own. Lentil soup is often watery and bland. I prefer my lentil soup thick with chunks of carrot breaking through the surface, flavourful and but not spicy.

We used to call this lentil soup "Gigelisuppe". "Gigelisuppe" is a Swiss German word if you are wondering. Gigelisoup makes you laugh, uncontrollably so. Sam was a fussy eater and needed a bit of convincing to eat it at first. What is more tempting than a soup that makes you shake with laughter?

This particular lentil soup is made with red lentils. Here is how:

Heat up a reasonable amount of olive oil. On a low heat gently soften one chopped onion and two carrots cuts into bite sized chunks, together with a good teaspoon dried thyme or a little more if you are using fresh thyme. I sometimes add pepper and/or celery.
Once the onions are soft, press a clove of garlic into the mix. At the same time, add a heaped teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds. Sometimes I add a whole chili to give it the tiniest hint of spiciness. Continue to cook on a low heat, taking care not the burn the garlic.
After a couple of minutes, add approximately two cups of red lentils and stir them in. Then add a tin of chopped tomatoes. You can use fresh tomatoes if you like but I would suggest that you peel them if you do. I always use tinned tomatoes. Then add water or stock, enough to roughly double the volume in the pan. I like to use the chicken stock that Richard always makes with the carcass of a Sunday roast chicken but stock cubes are fine, too. Bring the soup to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for at least 30 minutes, more if you have time. The soup will get really thick and you might have to add more liquid. At this stage I usually break the soup down a little with the stick blender, just a few seconds. Before serving, I add the zest of a lemon and the juice of at least half the lemon. I also season the soup with salt and pepper. Lastly, stir in a big dollop of natural yogurt.






That's it. We like the soup served with buttered toast or fresh rolls. Sometimes I get a packet of good quality frankfurters (not the sloppy hot dog variety in a tin!) and warm them up in the soup.

Enjoy! Cx

22 comments:

  1. We like lentil soup here, I put nutmeg, ginger and coconut in mine, it's called Calypso Lentil Soup. Just right for this time of year I think. Enjoy your weekend Christina. CJ xx

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  2. That does look good, Christina, I can imagine it goes very well with the frankfurters too. It's been just the weather for soup here in the High Peak today. Fingers crossed for a decent weekend, I hope you have a good one! xx

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  3. Yum! I adore lentil soup and make it often in the colder weather. I loved your description of Lorne or sliced sausage! I am one of the few Scottish people who really doesn't enjoy a roll and sausage! My husband says that I can't really be Scottish....
    Marianne x

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  4. Hi Christina, just catching up now I am back, I have been reading, but not commenting. I don't think that I have ever made lentil soup, but I have eaten it and love it, yours sounds really delicious. I hope that you will find things less stressful with the referendum now that it has happened and that you will work things out with the tolerance thing so that you are comfortable. These things are hard, and often we worry about small things that we could let go, but it is hard to do and we all do it so don't be hard on yourself. I hope that you have a good weekend. xx

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  5. Yum! Love lentil soup, your recipe sounds delicious Christina X

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  6. Sounds delicious! I'll try next winter! I do hope Scotland is able to settle down now and that there won't be too many people jumping up and down causing havoc. Peace in his world we need. It is why I always think if you can create love in our own small corner, maybe, just maybe it will spread out! Hope so anyway. xxx

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  7. Thanks so much for this recipe, Christina! I've been waiting for you to post it. I love lentils, but mostly have cooked with the green ones. It will be nice to try a red lentil recipe. :-)

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  8. It sounds so tasty. Thank you for sharing. I'm planning a lentil-and-spinach soup for dinner on Monday. The recipe comes from Jamie Oliver and I like it because it has ginger in it, which seems a bit unusual. I love any kind of bean or pea-type soup, with or without meat.

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  9. Your lentil soup recipe looks gorgeous and perfect for autumn. Your recent posts have been really thought-provoking - I agree with so much of what you say. It's hard getting the balance of these things right but being aware of the possibility that one needs periodically to adjust, rethink, recallibrate or reaffirm where one is at with things is, I am sure, the most important thing and it's important that children realise that too. I always remind myself of that quote by John Maynard Caines "when the facts change, I change my mind" - I find it a good maxim for responding to things that may be challenge us to think differently. Doesn't always apply of course and sometimes one needs to stick with previously held views because actually one believes they are right. Negotiating the path on this is not always easy but it's one of the most important things to encourage children to do for themselves and I think your children are very lucky indeed to have such a thoughtful, reflective parent in you as a role model. Stick with it! Have a lovely weekend Christina. E x

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  10. This has been book marked. I shall be making a batch of this next week.
    Leanne xx

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  11. I love lentil soup. I make a cumin and coriander spiced soup but this looks delicious! I'll definitely be try a batch very soon.

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  12. I love lentil soup too! We usually add carrots and big chunks of potato. I find it keeps the cold out.
    Thrifty, filling and hearty. I enjoy making food which is unfussy, particularly when cooking feels like it's just too much of an effort and you'd rather be curled up on the sofa...
    S x

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  13. This sounds delicious but as a vegetarian who doesn't eat citrus out of bounds for me! I make one with onion, potato and paprika. But whatever you put in it you can't usually go wrong with a hearty lentil soup.

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  14. This looks great, Christina. I'm always on the lookout for good soup recipes. xxx

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  15. Looks hearty and good. My husband makes a great thick red lentil soup and we also love red lentil coconut curry. Lentils are not very well liked in this country though. I think they are misunderstood.

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  16. Tell me what time you want me over for lunch, I will pop on a plane right this minute.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  17. I love lentil and carrot soup, one of my fav's x

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx