Red lentil soup has been our tonic this week. My cold has lingered, River woke in the night with croup and Pete has a big wedding to shoot on the weekend so absolutely wants to remain well. Sol is being his smiley self and trying to invent a cough or sniffle for himself to get an even bigger dose of TLC than usual. Bless him.
Red Lentil Soup
1 cup split red lentils (we like to soak them for a couple of hours. you don't need to though)
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
2 ltrs water or stock
1-2 bay leaf
1 generous teaspoon dried thyme
2-3 tablespoons of Bragg's all purpose liquid seasoning (or your desired amount of salt)
a splash of olive oil
Heat the olive oil (or a knob of butter) in your favorite pot to make soup in and then add the onion, carrot and celery and gently fry for a couple of minutes.
If you soaked the lentils drain the soaking water and then add lentils and remaining ingredients to pot. Bring to boil.
Turn heat down (or transfer to the top of your wood heater if you have one) and allow to simmer for at least two hours until lentils have broken down and flavours have all found their place in the mix.
You may like to add a splash more Bragg's at the end and a crack of pepper.
You can serve as is or if you prefer your soup pureed go ahead and blend til smooth.
We've been enjoying this with garlic butter toast made by crushing fresh organic garlic into butter and mashing it together then spreading on the hot toast. Raw garlic is a fantastic natural 'antibiotic' and the thyme in the soup is there not just for its flavour but for its antibacterial properties (thyme tea is great for soothing coughs). If eating raw garlic is a little too strong you can toast one side of the bread then spread the garlic butter on the other side and place under the grill.
The title of this post is inspired by a vegetarian restaurant in Melbourne of the same name. 'Lentil as Anything' operates on a 'pay what you feel' principle with diners deciding after their meal what they think it was worth or what they can afford to pay. There are three locations - St Kilda, Abbotsford and Footscray. I haven't been to one for a few years but when I have I've loved the food. They are worth a visit if you are in Melbourne.
What's happening at your place this weekend? It is a long weekend here in Victoria we're meant to be celebrating the Queen's birthday. My cold has replaced my generally strong appetite for home-baked cake with a solid desire for soup and not much else. So no cake for the Queen's celebration here. I'm not much of a royalist, lovely as they all seem her Royal Highness and all the Princes and Princesses.