French lentil soup (Vegan)

This recipe is taken from the book “Voluptuous Vegan” by Myra Kornfeld. I ordered the book today and thought I’d try out the lentil soup. You’ll find the recipe online under: http://www.myrakornfeld.com/recipes.php

This is my first attempt at restructuring the recipe for the Thermomix 31. Yes, experienced users would probably have got this soup quicker on the table but I had oodles of time, it’s Sunday, it’s snowing (yet again) so I don’t mind spending a little more time in the kitchen.

Start with the tomato sauce:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the TMX 1.5 minutes, 100C, soft stir. While the oil was heating, I cut 2 medium onions (about 2 cups)  into small dice and minced 3 garlic cloves. You could chop these in the TMX first and then set aside while you heat the oil but I preferred to chop the vegetables myself.
2. Add 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes, the onions and garlic to the TMX and cook about 8-10 minutes on 100C/speed 1 (I left the MC off). Then add 1/2 cup of red wine and cook on 100C/soft stir/MC off for 5 minutes until it reduces a little.

3. Then add 1 tbsp tomato paste and 1 tin of tomatoes (400g). Cook for  a few minutes more (I cooked them for about 10 minutes on 100C/soft stir). Blitz for 3 seconds on speed 5 to break up the chunks. Pour the tomato sauce into a large bowl and set aside while you cook the lentils.

4. Pour 6 cups of water and 1 cup of puy lentils (I used normal brown ones) into Thermomix. The recipe states you should cook the lentils for about 25-35 minutes or until the lentils are soft. You’ll also need to add a bouquet garni of 5 fresh thyme sprigs, 3  rosemary sprigs, 1 bay leaf, and 5 flat leaf parsley  stems to give the lentils and the broth more flavour. I set the timer for 30 minutes/100C/reverse/soft stir. (I chose reverse because I was afraid the lentils would turn to mush on the normal setting). Remove the bouquet garni.

5. Add the tomato mixture to the TMX along with 1 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Cook a further 5 minutes/100C/reverse/soft stir to allow the flavours to marry. Taste and add more salt if desired.

6. Add 3 cups chard leaves with1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme.  Allow chard to wilt for 5 minutes in the hot soup, stir through, adjust seasoning if necessary and  serve hot. ( I used frozen, chopped organic spinach and just tipped it into the soup at step 5, mixed on speed 5 for 1 second and cooked for the extra 5 minutes).

This turned out to be a delicious soup, much lighter than a “normal” lentil soup. It also looked beautiful with the specks of green in among the lentils.

Since I had no fresh herbs, I added dried thyme, dried rosemary, frozen parsley and a bayleaf to the tomato sauce while cooking. Before blitzing I removed the bayleaf. At the end of cooking the soup I added a little more thyme and rosemary.

Now I can’t wait to get the book;)

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