So why make this soup, well tis' the soup season and do I really need an excuse, just look outside of my window. It's raining and blustery. And to be truthful, I will soon be running out of homegrown produce and raiding both my small freezer and store cupboard.
For now though making this soup gives me the excuse to use both store-cupboard and home-grown ingredients (chard and onion), little though they may be.
Three types of lentils: puy, brown and green lentils in soak with garlic and bay leaf. The lentils look quite pretty like polished pebbles.
This is my first ever contribution to My Legume Love Affair, a popular bean-centric event created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive.
For those of us who are new and wishing to participate in the event, this is what Susan has to say: 'For those new to the event, your choice of recipes is very broad. As much as legumes are most commonly known as fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils and pulses, they are also the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds. Add to the list alfalfa, fenugreek, peanuts, carob, tamarind and other members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, as well as derivatives such as tofu, and you'll have a hard time focusing on just one. All courses and cuisines are welcome, as long as legumes are the dominant ingredient. (Please note: In France, vegetables of all sorts are known as légumes, and are not included in this event.)'. So if your interested in participating check out her blog for further information.
Spiced Lentil Soup with chard
Serve 4 – 6
1 ½ cups lentils (I used green, brown and puy lentils)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
8 stems of coriander, tied together
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
1 generous teaspoon ground cumin
4 chard leaves, finely chopped
Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the lentils. Put them in a large pan with 7 cups, thats about 2 1/2 pints of water, along with the garlic, bay leaves and bundle. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered until tender for about 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and herb bundle, add salt to taste. While the lentils are cooking, heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and cumin and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften then brown. Then add to the simmering lentils. 10 minutes before you want to serve the lentil, add the chard and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped coriander. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste and serve. Adapted from Deborah Madisons’s Vegetable Soups