Now that winter is on our doorstep, the temperature is in decline and the days are becoming shorter and darker (in OZ that is), it is high time for some comfort food and I am going to share with you three of my favourite soups: lentil, pumpkin and fish.
All are very easy to make, as they do not call for many ingredients and they are my family’s all time favourites. As a matter of fact, at a recent dinner party I served a fish soup as an entrée and was awarded 10 out of 10 for it by my guests.
First, lentil soup, probably the easiest of them all.
You need (for 6 people):
1 brown onion, cubed
4 tbs of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (sliced)
1 cup of red lentils (rinsed)
2 L of water
4 cubes of chicken or vegetable stock
1 400 g can of tomatoes (whole or diced as long as they are peeled)
1 tbs of tomato paste
1 sprig of rosemary
Red hot chili powder (optional, to taste)
1 tsp of smoked paprika
Half tsp of sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Heat the olive oil in a cooking pot and sauté the onions and garlic until soft and translucent but don’t let them go brown. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds. Add lentils, a can of tomatoes, rosemary, pour 2 litres of boiling water and crumble 4 cubes of chicken stock. Let it come to the boil, if you use whole tomatoes, grab a masher and give them a crush. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning. I like to add some smoked paprika and a sprinkle of hot chili powder for a kick. Also, if you don’t favour the taste of sourness coming from the tomato paste, you can soften it up by adding half a teaspoon of sugar. Chicken stock is usually quite salty, but you can add more salt if you wish.