The gastronomic alternatives to sweet, sugary confections appear to be almost limitless. This weekend, Sue conjured up a huge pan of wonderful smelling and even better tasting soup, which on enquiry, I discovered to be lentil soup.
My uncharitable thought process immediately thought of dreadful, tasteless veggie, hippy fodder. So you can imagine my surprise when this concoction was served with pieces of bacon floating about in it.
I have just consulted the oracle and discovered that the basic recipe for this soup came from a 25-year-old Sainsbury’s Vegetarian Recipe Book written by Carole Handslip. The only reference to this book I can find online is a copy for sale on eBay, so I would guess that it’s out of print. I hope Carole won’t mind me passing on her recipe from this book.
The base recipe for Sue’s masterpiece was:
Lentil and Celery Soup
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 Celery Sticks, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 175g (6oz) red lentils
- Bouquet garni
- Salt & Pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry until softened. Add te remaining ingredients with salt & pepper to taste (I don’t think Sue adds salt). Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Check the seasoning and remove the bouquet garni. Serve.
Sue’s variation was to add a red pepper and some bacon to put her own unique twist on this simple dish. She also made some lovely light cobs (bread rolls, if you’re not from round here) that complemented the soup perfectly.
After we had consumed a generous sized dish each, we took a serving and a cob over to my mum’s and the rest has gone into the well-stocked freezer. I’m looking forward to its next appearance before me.
I’m liking this giving up lark.