The recipe calls for red lentils but I used the regular brownish green ones and it was fine — it just didn’t look quite as pretty. Also, since I am a very lazy cook I did not follow all the steps. Rather, I put all of the ingredients into the crockpot and let it simmer on high for about three hours, squeezed the juice out of the lemon halves and discarded them, then blended the soup in the blender until smooth and returned it to the crockpot to keep warm.
The recipe comes from a book called “The Complete Book of 400 Soups” by Anne Sheasby (Hermes House, copyright 2007)
I thought I’d post it on my blog so it’s accessible for a longer period of time. Enjoy!
Pottage of Lentils*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 or 2 carrots, sliced (I used 2)
8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable stock
2 Bay leaves
1 or 2 lemons, halved
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, to taste
salt and ground black pepper
lemon slices and chopped fresh flat leaf parsley to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and cook for about five minutes, or until softened. Stir in the celery, carrots, half the garlic and all the potato. Cook for a few minutes until beginning to soften.
2. Add the lentils and its stock to the pan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potato and lentils are tender.
3. Add the bay leaves, remaining garlic and half the lemons to the pan and cook the soup for further 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemons, then stir into the soup, to taste.
4. Pour the soup into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. You may need to do this in batches. Tip the soup back into the pan, stir in the cumin, and cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each portion with lemon slices and a sprinkling of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley.
On a hot day, serve the soup cold, with even more lemon juice.