Thursday, 1 January 2009

Lentil and chestnut soup

Most of my new recipes these days are inspired by an ingredient that needs using up. So it was in the case of this substantial soup (more like a stew, actually) which I thought would make the best of a batch of really tasty goose stock.

Like all recipes it can be fiddled around with depending what you have available. If you haven't got bacon use chorizo or up the amount of pimenton. You don't have to use a carrot. You could use celery if you have some. You could use duck or turkey stock instead of goose - or even vegetable bouillon powder. Shredded cabbage makes a good substitute for parsley or you could, as I did, use both. (You need something green, though, otherwise it is a bit unrelievedly brown.) I also added a bit of fried up sliced chorizo as I had some lying around but you could of course make it entirely vegetarian.

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
4 streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
75g cooked chestnuts, chopped
150g Puy or other green or brown lentils (or a drained can of lentils)
500-600ml turkey, goose or chicken stock
Handful of shredded cabbage leaves or chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a deep casserole or heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the streaky rashers and cook until the fat starts to run. Add the chopped onion and carrot, cover the pan and cook over a low heat until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute then stir in the paprika. Add the chopped chestnuts and lentils then add the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add the shredded cabbage leaves if using and continue to simmer until they are lightly cooked. (If you’re using parsley instead or as well add that 3-4 minutes before the end of the cooking time.) Add a little extra stock if you need it and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Enjoy and a Happy New Year to you all!


Anne Manuel said...

Made this last night for my lunch today and nearly ate it all out of the pan! It was really tasty - can't wait for 12.30!

I put in a few more chestnuts than the recipe cos I had loads left over from Christmas. Gives it a lovely smokey sweet flavour

Fiona Beckett said...

glad you enjoyed it! Smoked paprika or chorizo and chestnuts are really great together

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