Green Lentil Soup with Leeks

 image credit:  Everything I Want To Eat  cookbook

image credit: Everything I Want To Eat cookbook

This recipe is adapted from Jessica Koslow's Everything I Want to Eat cookbook (which I'm kinda in love with).

If you want to sprout your lentils, you'll need to start that a few days ahead of time, otherwise, you'll just need to soak them first and cook them longer. 

MAKES 4

TIME: 40 MINS prep / 1+ cooking

INGREDIENTS

- 1 cup of Puy green lentils

- 3 tablespoons of evoo

- about 3 large shallot onions

- 1/2 cup or so of fresh fennel (about half a fennel bulb)

- 1 small parsnip 

- 2 stalks of celery

- 1-2 leeks - washed well then finely chopped

- 1-2 spring onions - washed well then finely chopped

- 1 cup or so of spinach, silverbeet or Chinese broccoli (i used Chinese broccoli from my local asian grocer) chopped

- 1/2 lemon

- 1/2 cup of fresh dill

- salt to taste

 

DIRECTIONS

So either you decided use sprouted lentils or dried. If dried, put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes then drain.

Boil the lentils in the large pot with 3 cups of water and 3/4 tablespoon of salt. Simmer gently for 10 mins if sprouted, or 20 if not. 

While the lentils cooking you can either hand chop your shallots, fennel, parsnip and celery - or - if you have a food processor - hey presto! chop them all together - just not too fine. FYI- if you use the processor don't bother washing it yet - we can use it again shortly for the leek and spring onion green puree.

Heat a large pan to medium heat, add oil and shallot, fennel, parsnip, celery and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Approx 5mins.

Then add the shallot vegetable mix to the lentil pot. Remove from heat and let the flavours meld while you make the leek and spring onion puree. 

Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the leeks and spring onions - just o blanch them - approx 30 seconds. Drain and pop them on plate and put into the freezer to cool for 2 minutes. Then, place them into the food processor (or use the knife to chop finely if you don't have a processor) and puree, adding a little cold water as needed. 

To serve, heat the lentil soup to a gentle boil, stir in your chopped spinach, (or silverbeet or Chinese broccoli), just to let it wilt a little. Taste and add salt if needed. 

Stir in your green leek and spring onion puree - hopefully it's nice and bright! And a big squeeze of lemon juice. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with dill. 

EnJOY!