Puy Lentils are one of my favourite ingredients and really versatile, suitable for stews, soups, casseroles or simply delicious on their own with some great extra virgin olive oil and garlic. The New York Times have an article featuring the health benefits of legumes and is worth a quick read. The difference between the French Puy Lentil and other forms, is that they retain their shape well during the cooking process and are far superior in flavour. The other advantage is that lentils don’t contain sulfur which is the mineral responsible for some of the unfortunate ‘gale force’ physical side effects that other members of the legume/bean family contain! I love this delicious economic soup, which is filling and healthy and can easily be adapted to vegetarian tastes by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock and omitting the lean smoked bacon, replacing with 1 tsp of smoked paprika instead.
For 2 generous Bowls
You Will Need –
200g / 1 cup Puy Lentils
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 fat clove garlic
2 slices smoked lean bacon, finely diced
1 1/4 litres chicken stock
1 tsp balsamic / red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Bay Leaf, broken
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp walnuts, roughly chopped
To Do –
Heat the olive oil in a pot.
Add the onion, pepper and bacon and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile wash the puy lentils, picking over to remove any stones.
Except the walnuts, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot with the onion, pepper and bacon, stir and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook without a lid for 30 minutes or so. Check the lentils are cooked.
Dig around and remove the bay leaf and pulse or blitz half in a food processor, return to the heat and check seasoning.
Serve with chopped walnuts and Parmesan Crisps.
Pre-heat oven to 210C
Grate about a cup of parmesan.
Arrange in neat rows, piling the parmesan about a 1/2 inch high on a baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes watching patiently to ensure they don’t burn.
When just browning a little around the edges, remove from the oven and lift off the sheet carefully with a palette knife. Be gentle with them!
I’m sending this over to Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sundays
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