Carrot, Red Lentil and Sundried Tomato soup
Well the weather, while being sunny here is still quite cold.
I needed to use us the last of my veg box as well as make something for work next week, so what better that a large pan of warm Soup.
I love carrots and Tomatoes so made sense to make yummy warm orange/red soup.
So looking through the box I had a few carrots, some Swede (or Turnip, depending where you come from), a couple of onions, a leek. I found a red pepper in the fridge that needed to be eaten soon, but no tomatoes. Well, a couple of small fresh ones, but not enough for a soup. I did have some.
I checked the cupboards, but like Mother Hubbard they are looking noticeable bare, no Passata left and no tinned tomatoes. As they are one of my ‘staples’ I was so annoyed that I had not noticed I was running out!
I could see that this was going to be one of the recipes I made up as I went along.
I did a quick look through the fridge and I found a few things in there I thought I could add… see below to see what these ‘hidden ingredients’ turned out to be
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 chopped Onion
- 2 cloves of Garlic – crushed
- 1 chopped Leek
- 3 medium sized Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1.2 small Swede, peeled and roughly chopped to the same size of the carrot
- 1 small Red Pepper – chopped
- Chilli flakes
- Hot Red Paprika
- A good handful of dried red lentils (you could use another type of lentils, but the cooking time might be slightly longer)
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes, or a jar of Passata – OK as I didn’t have either of them, I used a good dollop tomatoes purée and I found at the back of the fridge a jar of Sundried Tomatoes* preserved in oil. The jar had not been opened, so the tomatoes were as fresh as the day they were bottled. I used about 8 of them and good slug of the oil in which they had been soaking.
- 2pints of vegetable stock (you can use chicken if you prefer)
- Fresh Thyme and a handful of chopped fresh Parsley –– both from the Lodge’s kitchen garden
- A slug of Balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground Black Pepper
- ½ tsp of sugar
- Pepper to taste
- Salt – if needed – but like to wait till it’s cooked as I find the stock cubes quite salty.
- Heat oil in large pan. I use my big pasta pan, old and battered now, but bought from the market in Pavia many years ago when visiting a friend there. It was the 5 Euros I have ever spent!
- Sauté the onions, leeks, and carrots in the oil for five to seven minutes or until they start to soften. You don’t want them to go brown, or burn. Then add the chopped Red Pepper and then crushed garlic, keep stirring.
- Add the chilli flakes, hot red paprika (to taste) – these are optional- I like a bit of a bite to my soups, and then the tomato purée, and cook for a further 2 minutes –this is to cook the purée out. It’s important to cook the tomato purée out as if you don’t then the can leave a bitter taste.
- Add the lentils and the stock to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- I then added the Sundried Tomatoes. I added at least 8. I didn’t chop them as the soup with be blended when finished. I added a splash of the oil they had been steeped in, as it is full of yummy flavour.
- Then the splash of balsamic vinegar, and the sugar – I have put ½ teaspoon, but to be honest I just add some from the sugar bowl, and don’t tend to measure. But if you’re worried then I think it’s approximately ½ tsp.
- The sugar balances and brings out the taste of tomatoes, and the balsamic, well I don’t know it just tastes good. I tend to add it to many of my tomato sauces. You can leave it out if you wish.
- I also add the herbs here and freshly grounded black pepper. I like Thyme and I would have used Basil if I had any, (out of dried basil too it seems). However the parsley works well too, and I have loads still growing in my garden.
- Then reduce heat to low and simmer and cook for 20 minutes or so. The lentils need to have cooked and become soft. I sometimes cook a little longer as I like my lentils to almost have dissolved.
- Once cook, then blend. The lentils make it quite a thick soup, which I like, but if you want it a little looser you could add a little more stock or water here.
- Season to taste – if you want to add more salt here you can or more pepper, up to you.
- Then serve with brown crusty bread. As its Sunday I am down to the last crusts of my loaf of Genius bread!** It’s one of my favourite Gluten Free bread***, and one that actually tastes like bread.
What is left I will take to work for my lunch, in these days of watching the pennies, soup at work is always comforting
* I hope to make my own Sundried Tomatoes this year, from my home-grown tomatoes, – well that is if they don’t all get eaten or made in to sauce – but watch this space and if I do I shall let you know how I get on!
**Genius bread is one of the few I use for sandwiches, most other’s do tend to taste like cardboard. And it’s the only one which other members of my family have eaten without knowing and without complaining!
***The only problem with Gluten Free bread, Genius included, is doesn’t last very long and can dry out quickly, I usually save the crusts for breadcrumbs, or croutons or just to dip in my soup!
©2011, 2012 Shullie H Porter. All Rights Reserved.