Rendezvous in a soup pot
It is still winter and that time of the week we call the weekend. The snow is still on the grass and the sun bright but the air is sharp and very cold. Mmm… I think to myself, what about a nice bowl of steaming hot soup, and I do have a few left over vegetables languishing in the kitchen cupboard. Why not give them a rendezvous in a soup pot and this is what I found.
Add or subtract and tailor make it to what is available in your cupboards and experiment. The quantity I made was enough to serve 6 people, but just multiply or divide the quantity according to your needs.
- 1 fat potato with its jacket on
- 2 carrots (these were slightly wrinkled)
- 2 sticks of celery (more like 2 wilting sticks)
- 2 leeks
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of oil (I used sunflower, but you use olive or any other single oils)
- 1 teaspoon of ghee or butter (this just adds a wonderful caramel flavour)
- ½ cup of red lentils (wash a few times)
- 7 unsalted cashew nuts (found in a bottle)
- 8 whole almonds (lying in a packet)
- ¼ teaspoon of dried rosemary (you can use mixed herbs or any other combination that suits your palette)
- ¼ teaspoon of dried basil
- 1 desert spoon of desiccated coconut (optional)
- Salt to taste
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of ghee. Finely slice the leeks, dice the potatoes, carrots and celery and once the oil is medium hot, sauté all these vegetables until transparent but not brown. Then add the washed lentils and enough water to cover the vegetables so that the level stands about a centimetre above the vegetables and bring to the boil. Now add the nuts, roughly chopped so they are easier to blend, herbs and salt and lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. When the vegetables are soft I puréed all this with a hand held blender until nearly smooth. Add more water if you want a thinner consistency and simmer for a few more minutes.