It’s been a relatively healthy beginning to 2017. Despite the odd hiccup, (Saturday’s birthday celebration for my friend Dwight included a stick of butter per person to ensure the Louisiana shrimp was authentic) I’ve been pretty well behaved. Making a big batch of this incredibly satisfying and unintentionally vegan soup has been the largest contributor to my restraint. It has also been especially comforting to have a steaming bowl of soup after walking Daisy in these frigid temperatures. It’s hearty, healthy, and very very tasty!
Mushroom and Lentil Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, peeled and diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 large dried chili (any mild dried chili works)
5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixture)
4 oz. small brown lentils (I used Puy lentils), rinsed
4 cups vegetable stock
3 sprigs of thyme
Good French bread for dipping
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the onions. Cook on medium until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Save some of the browned mushrooms to a separate plate for garnish.
2. Add the garlic and chili and cook for a further minute or two, stirring regularly, before adding the mushrooms and cooking for a further 5 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a low simmer with a lid almost covering the pot for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
4. Season with salt, pepper, a dash of cognac and the juice of a lemon.
5. Remove the garlic, chili and thyme and then whizz using a hand held blender till about half of the soup is pureed but you still have plenty of texture.
6. Serve warm with browned mushrooms as a topping and extra bread for dipping.