When I start doling out the lentil soup, you know it's winter. This particular soup however, has a hint of summer. The secret is lemon. The zest and juice freshens it up no end and gives it a nice lift. Lentils are such a wonderful alternative to meat, delicious, filling and full of protein. As with all the soups I cook, this is more of a blueprint, sometimes I'll use leeks, another day parsnips or sweet potato, it all depends on whats lurking at the back of the fridge. Almost any winter veggie will do. The following list are the ingredients used for this particular brew.
1 onion, finely chopped
2 leeks, finely chopped and very well washed
4 carrots, chopped
1 large sprig of rosemary, minced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
zest and juice of a large lemon
32 oz organic chicken broth
1 cup of lentils
Heat the olive oil in a large pot.
Add the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic. Season with salt and pepper and saute on a low heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft.
Add the lentils and stir to combine thoroughly.
Pour in the chicken stock, bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer.
Partially cover and simmer away for at least 45 minutes - or until lentils are soft.
Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir.
If you like the soup really thick, puree a cup of the liquid and pour back into the soup to thicken.
Check the seasonings, serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and a few more chopped herbs.