It’s Winter and we’re feeling it here in Melbourne. This is an ideal Warmer for the belly and the home. Lentil and Carrot Soup is a lovely sweet entrée or main meal served with buttered, warm Turkish Bread. If you’d like to sweeten it a bit more, either chop another carrot or add a cup of your favorite fruit juice10 minutes before taking the soup off the heat. So don’t forget to taste test before serving!
375g bag of dry lentils (I prefer green)
2 medium carrots – diced small
2 medium purple carrots – diced small
2 medium onions – finely chopped
2 stalks of celery incl leaves – finely chopped – hold back a couple of leaves for garnish
4 cloves of garlic – minced
1-2 tblspns olive oil
1 smoked ham hock
2 or 3 dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper – season to taste.
Optional – sour cream, chili, curry.
1 Prepare the lentils the previous day, or the morning of your soup making. Put the dry lentils into a bowl. Pour water over them so they are covered + another inch of water. Leave to soak for at least 8 hours.
2. Dice, chop and mince the ingredients as required.
3. Put your cauldron on the stove over a low heat. Sauté the garlic, onion and celery in the olive oil, stir regularly, until cooked through and clear. (Add finely chopped chili or powdered curry at this stage)
4. Add the carrots (both sorts), stir until heated through. The purple carrot will give it all a very dark color.
5. Add the ham hock. Season well with salt and pepper.
6. Pour water over the lot until there’s about a 1inch extra clearance on top of the ham hock.
7. Bring to a light simmer and leave at this stage for (ideally) at least 2 hrs. Longer if possible. I usually let it simmer down so that about an inch of ham hock is exposed, but feel free to top up with more water if you need. This will be your base stock for the lentil and carrot soup J.
8. Take out the ham hock and place to the side in a bowl to cool.
9. Add the lentils including the water they’ve been soaking in. Add the bay leaves. Bring back to a simmer for an hour.
10. Once the ham hock has cooled enough, cut the meat off, and finely chop/tear. Stir it back into the soup. Throw out the fatty skin bits – or give it sparingly to your dog, your choice J.
11. Simmer the soup until it reaches your preferred consistency.
I like to use the Slender Blender (or Bamix or whatever you have on hand) to cream the soup a bit.
Just before serving, stir through some thickened or sour cream. Garnish with a drizzle of sour cream, or sweet chili sauce and celery leaves.