Brown Lentil Soup

This vegetarian soup reminds one of how the simplest of ingredients can really pack a punch when it comes to taste. It is a delicious winter-warmer and a great way of incorporating almost everything from your vegetable garden!

This recipe feeds six really hungry people…

375ml brown lentils

750ml cold water

60ml olive oil

2 parsnips, diced

2 leaks, sliced into rounds

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

bouquet garni, which is basically bay leaf, thyme and rosemary tied together

2 cans of diced tomatoes

1,5l vegetable stock

salt and pepper

500ml broccoli florets

Rinse the lentils and place it in a saucepan with 750ml cold water. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for 20 minutes until cooked but not mushy. Strain.

Add the parsnips, leaks, onions, carrots and garlic and gently sweat it off until the onions and leaks have softened.

Add the bouquet Garni, the tomatoes, vegetable stock and a small amount of salt and pepper, bearing in mind that the soup will intensify in taste as it cooks.

Simmer the soup for one hour. Taste and add seasoning to your taste.

Now, you may keep the soup base as it is or you can blitz it up at this stage. Remove the bouquet garni before blitzing!! I prefer a smooth soup with the broccoli florets and lentils providing the texture.

If you have blitzed your mixture, pour it back into the saucepan and add the lentils and broccoli florets.

Turn the heat back on and simmer for two minutes.

Serve the soup piping hot with fresh, crusty bread and good company.

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