Sadly I took no photographs of this soup which I made for supper yesterday, and I cannot photograph the leftovers because they no longer look like soup! However, after reading my sister's latest post (see http://magnoliaverandah.blogspot.com/) claiming she is being stalked by puy lentils I felt duty bound to post the recipe here.
I was looking for someting to make for supper and looked through Tamasin Day-Lewis' Kitchen Bible - always inspirational - and came across this soup which was perfect for last night's supper.
This recipe serves 6.
3 tbs olive oil, 2 onions - finely chopped, 6 cloves of garlic (I only used two), 2 sticks of celery, 110g smoked streaky bacon chopped small, 225g puy lentils, 400g tin of chick peas, 4 tomatoes skinned seeded and chopped, 400g tin Italian plum tomatoes, approx 1.5 litres of chicken stock, 3-4 sprigs of thyme, 2 bay leaves, 225g macaroni or similar small pasta, salt and pepper, 2-3 tbs chopped fresh parsley, 110g Parmesan cheese grated.
To make things easier I put the onions, garlic and celery into my kenwood chopper and blended them all together before putting them into the saucepan with the olive oil and bacon - cook these over a low heat until they are softened and translucent (approx 10-15 minutes). Add the lentils and chick peas and stir to coat them in oil. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes, chopping the tinned ones into their juice. Bring to a bubble, then add the stock, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 40 minutes. If the mixture is absorbing a lot of stock, ladle in some more keeping the level above the lentils. Cook the pasta in boiling water, drain and add to the soup with an extra couple of ladles of stock. Season well and sprinkle with parsley. Serve in bowls, sprinkled with the Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread.
As my local Tesco seems reluctant to replenish its stock of bay leaves I was fortunate enough to have some in the garden and was quite pleased with myself that not only did the bay leaves come from the garden but the thyme and fresh tomatoes