Sunday, 1 January 2012

Lentil and Chestnut Soup

I can’t believe it’s the 1st of January today and the start of another New Year; I’m still wondering where 2011 went, I seem to have blinked and missed it!

There are lots of superstitions centred on the first day of the year and, although I don’t usually have much time for that sort of mumbo-jumbo, I was taken by the fact that many of these beliefs focus on prosperity. I don’t know about you, but I think anything that might bring me a bit closer to winning the Lottery sounds like a very good thing, so I thought I’d join in, just in case!

Apparently lentils, as well as peas and beans, are symbolic of money, so I scouted around for a nice lentil soup recipe and came across this one from Nigella. I’ve changed it slightly to accommodate the ingredients that I had to hand but it still tastes brilliant and it also made a goodly amount which will give at least six portions. It had the added benefit of using up half a bag of chestnuts lurking in the freezer.

Now then, I’ve had my bowl of lentil soup, when does all that good luck and prosperity start coming my way…?

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g red lentils
200g frozen chestnuts
1.5 litre stock
crème fraîche and chopped parsley, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, carrot and celery for five minutes, add the garlic and cook for another minute then add the lentils, chestnuts and stock. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to the merest simmer, put the lid on and leave it to murmur away for half an hour.

Take off the heat and blitz with a stick blender.

Top with a spoonful of crème fraîche and chopped parsley to serve.

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