I really enjoy reading the new recipes from the Cardiologists Kitchen. It seems he always comes up with a new gustatory delight to tickle even the most fickle taste buds. Not only does he come up with amazing recipes, but they are also very healthy for you. If they handed out Michelin stars for websites that come up with great tasting and healthy food then I would have to one to the Cardiologists Kitchen.
For a large pan of Red Lentil Soup
1 large Onion (or 2 medium) — White or Red
3 large cloves of Garlic
5 medium-large Carrots
2 sticks of Celery
5 large teaspoons of Tomato concentrate/ paste
500g of Red Lentils
Chicken stock to fill your pan
1 heaped tablespoon of dried Mint
1 heaped tablespoon of dried Oregano
Olive Oil, Salt and Black Pepper
You can of course use ready Chicken Stock but the we like to make our own as a good stock will enhance your soup. If you have the left over carcass from a roast chicken then this is an excellent thrifty option. We tend to use some fresh chicken pieces like 3 thighs. Place in your pan, fill 2/3 with cold water and put on the heat. If you have any vegetable off cuts from Onions, Carrots, Celery, Leeks or a couple of Bay leaves etc. pop these in to add flavour. When the stock is starting to simmer turn the heat right down so it simmers gently for at least an hour. For a Vegetarian/ Vegan alternative you can use Veg stock.
Meanwhile finely chop your veg. A food processor is ideal. Soften these in a large pan with a good splash of Olive Oil. Cook gently until the veg is soft and the natural sweetness is enhanced. Add your Tomato paste, season with Salt and Pepper and cook for another few minutes.
When your stock is ready remove the chicken pieces and leave to cool. If the chicken has broken down it’s safest to strain the stock for any small bones.
Rinse your Lentils and add together with the stock and softened veg in a large pan. Add your herbs. Season to taste but do not over-Salt as the flavours will concentrate with cooking. Cook together on a gentle simmer for 1.5 hours until the Lentils are just starting to break down into a beautiful textured consistency.
Serve with a squeeze of Fresh Lemon, a simple side salad of onion, cucumber and tomato (dressed with Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt and Pepper) and a Granary/ wholemeal Roll for a delicious, satisfying lunch. The stock chicken pieces are also delicious with the soup on the side or flaked on top. Simple — we love this one!
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