Saturday, April 20, 2013

Recipe: Turkish Lentil Soup, with Spiced garlicky croutons

I know, 11 days since my last post, but i've been being a very good girl and finishing all my essays up. Once the 23rd May hits, I am utterly free for the summer- and you will see far more regular posting! 4 more essays to complete at hand in, and 2 exams before that though- phew! Made this big batch of lentil soup the other day- I would say it makes about 6 portions. I've frozen a load of it actually, so i can have it as a quick lunch when i dont have time to cook/ am studying. Might defrost some tonight, thicken it up, add some veg to it and make a vegetable dhansak kinda thing actually- yum. I love the comforting thickness, the tang of the lemon, and the unusual flavour of mint in this soup. Sometimes I have this soup with spiced naan breads also, if i dont have any bread or croutons to hand. Oh, and the croutons will last 3 days in an airtight container before going stale. Great way of using up slightly stale-ish bread.

Turkish Lentil Soup, with spiced garlicky croutons (serves 6)

Croutons
5 thick slices bread (you can use stale bread if you want), diced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp herbs du Provence
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 knob of butter
1 small onion, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin
Large handful mint, finely chopped
230g red lentils
115g bulgur wheat
2 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1.7 litres vegetable stock
Juice of ½ a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1.      Preheat the oven to 180C, fan oven. On a roasting tray, add all the crouton ingredients, toss to coat, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Set aside.

2.      Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and butter for 5 minutes. Add the cumin and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add all the other ingredients (except parsley) and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, and cook on a medium heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.      Blend the soup partially (you want it thick, but still with a few chunks in it). Season to taste, and garnish it with the spiced croutons and freshly chopped parsley.  Serve!

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