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greek lentil soup

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A few years ago my beautiful sister gave me a Greek cook book for my birthday.  The author is a television presenter/cook named Rena Salaman, which does not sound like a Greek name, but the pages are full of simple, wonderfully flavoured Greek food.  The recipes are divided into the four seasons, making the most the fresh produce available throughout the year, and each dish is generously flavoured with Mediterranean herbs and virgin olive oil.

In Greece, Autumn is a time to eat warm bowls of soup and casseroles which are full of meats, beans, and legumes and this Faki soup, is a tasty lentil soup, which can be quickly made from only a few ingredients.

 

  • INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups green lentils

  • 1 brown onion finely chopped

  • 1/2 fresh chilli finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

  • 2 fresh tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cubed or 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, about 50g

  • 1 dried bay leaves

  • olive oil

  • 5 cups good stock, I use chicken

  • A pinch of sugar

  • red wine vinegar

  • Salt and pepper

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

The first thing you need to do is get the lentils ready for cooking.  Pour them onto a flat plate and pick out any lentils that look black or spotty.  Then place the lentils in a pot with about 5 cups of water, bring to the boil.  Then drain immediately.  This will clean the lentils and prepare them for the soup.  Now the cooking begins

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pot and gently fry the onions and garlic till soft.

  2. Add the lentils and saute for a few minutes ensuring all the lentils are coated in oil

  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, chilli, sugar and bay leaf and stir for a minute or two

  4. Add the stock, salt and pepper and bring to the boil

  5. reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.  Do not overcook as the lentils will become mushy.

  6. Spoon into bowls and add a dash of red wine vinegar to each bowl before serving.

Adding about 1/4 teaspoon of red wine vinegar to each serving adds just the right amount of tartness, a step that really makes this dish that bit more special.

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