Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hearty Lentil & Vegetable Soup - summer version

Even though it is summer here in New Zealand, I do still enjoy the occasional soup! With this summer version of my Hearty Lentil and Vegetable Soup I have made it all about the summer vegetables! With the addition of courgettes, peppers and fresh summer herbs it has very refreshing and different flavours to the original.


Compared to other pulses, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare. They readily absorb a variety of wonderful flavours from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value and are available all year round.




Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium courgettes, washed and diced
1 medium red pepper, washed and diced
1 1/2 cups french green lentils (pre-soaked in water for a few hours and drained)
2 cups of good quality stock
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or 800g fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
small handful each of sweet basil and oregano, washed and torn into small pieces
1 tsp honey (maple syrup or agave nectar for vegan option)
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp tamari
Salt and peper

Method:
Over a medium heat in a large pan saute the first six ingredients for a few minutes. Add lentils and half a cup of the stock and continue to saute for a further five minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and remaining stock, turn heat down to low and simmer until lentils are tender (around 30 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and season to taste, simmer for a few more minutes before serving. Serve with freshly grated parmesan, parsley and hot garlic bread on the side. Enjoy!



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