Friday, 1 June 2012

Everyday Veggie & Lentil Soup

Winter is getting closer and closer, and this yearning for soup keeps getting stronger. So this week, it's a Vegetable & Lentil soup. I love making this, as it's deceiving how simple you can make it. Of course, you can make a version that is going to take you hours to prepare and cook. But on a Friday night, after a long week at work there is nothing I want more then to have a simply meal so that I can sit back and relax and get into full weekend mode.

 So this is my simple version of this wonderful winters delight. 

Veggie & Lentil Soup

In a large stock pot, place 2 bags of chicken frames, a couple of bay leaves, Peppercorns, salt and any fresh herbs you have at hand. I like to tie the herbs in a bunch as it makes it easier to catch them when you are finished cooking the stock. If you don’t have any fresh herbs at hand, using dried herbs is fine. You can add them just as they are so that they stay in the soup, or you can place them in a muslin bag and tie it up so that this can then be removed at the end. It's is entirely up to you.
Next, cover with water until the water reaches about 2-4cm above the bones. Place this on a medium heat and cover with a lid.
Whilst our stock is starting to cook away, it's time to cut up all our lovely veggies. Now, use whatever veggies you like! You can use up the veggies you have left in your fridge, or if you are more particular about what you like in your soup, you can visit your greengrocer and pick and choose exactly what you would like to add. 
The veggies that I’ve used today were, celery, carrot, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, turnip, frozen corn and frozen beans 

   Dice the veggies up, if possible as similarly sized as possible [to promote even cooking]. I don’t bother peeling my vegetable as the skin is were all the nutrition is found. So simply just wash them lightly and dice them up. Also, as it's a Friday night it also comes down to laziness and purely just wanting to be able to go and lounge around.  After you have diced up the vegetables set them aside in a bowl. With all the of cuts, DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY!!!  Place them into your stock that has been bubbling away all the time you have been preparing the vegetables. This will add flavour and depth to your soup. Allow it to bubble away for another 45 min or so.   

 Now comes time to separate the frames and vegetable cuts from the golden liquid that is our stock. Simply set up another stock pot that has been topped with a strainer and pour the stock into the strainer. This will catch all the vegetable frames, herbs, vegetable cut offs that we do not want to go through and leave us with just our glorious stock.

Place the pot with the stock back onto the stove top at a medium heat and carefully pour in our diced vegetables. At this point we add a tin of lentils which has been drained. Allow to cook for about 20min. Before serving it with some thickly sliced toast spread with butter. ENJOY!

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