What could be more warming on a cold Winter’s day than a delicious bowl of soup? This fits the bill perfectly, with hearty vegetables and the earthy flavours of Puy lentils and thyme. It freezes well too, so why not make up an extra batch and stash some in the freezer for the next time snow threatens.
I love to serve this with my Cheese and Herb Scones – made with thyme, of course – or a chunk of crusty bread.
As something of a soup addict myself I find it hard to comprehend that someone might possibly not like soup. For those, this soup is easily converted into a hearty stew, in which case serve with mashed potatoes and a green Winter vegetable.
PUY LENTIL AND THYME SOUP
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- I leek, halved lengthwise and cut into narrow strips (rinse well to remove any soil caught between the leaves
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 litre vegetable stock (Marigold vegetable bouillon works well)
- 175g Puy lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
- 425g can of chopped tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onions for 5 minutes. Add the leek and carrot, stir well, cover and leave to cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the stock, lentils, bay leaves and thyme and bring to the boil; turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- Add the tomatoes* and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Take out the bay leaves, then remove a ladle or two of the soup and purée it with a blender. Return the purée to the pan and season the soup to taste.
- Add a block or two of frozen chopped spinach.
- Convert this into a stew by reducing the amount of stock and chopping the vegetables more roughly and perhaps adding a stick of celery and some swede. A dash of red wine would work well in this version.
* Salt and acid food likes tomatoes will prevent the lentils from softening so should only be added once the lentils are tender.
A printer friend version of the recipe can be found HERE.