This soup is yummy. It tastes like lying on the sofa with a good book with the fire on or wrapped in a cozy blanket or both. I think that’s what they call “umami”. This soup has umami in spades.
I found this recipe on Honest Fare. I didn’t have any miso paste so I just left that out, I also added more paprika, used tinned whole plum tomatoes and added some dillisk. I also used all dried herbs and didn’t make a herb packet. If you’ve read other recipes here you may have noticed that I usually use dried herbs. This is not because I think dried herbs are better, fresh herbs have a sweetness and a vibrancy that you cannot get with dried, and from a nutritional standpoint fresh are better, but dried herbs have some nutritional value too and more importantly they have such a long shelf-life, usually 1 – 2 years, and I hate to see fresh herbs that I haven’t got around to using withering away. If I had a herb garden I’d always use fresh herbs but I don’t so for normal everyday cooking I use dried herbs.
The reason why I added the dillisk was purely for the goodness you get from it. Dillisk is rich in iron, potassium, zinc, manganese and it also contains calcium. I wasn’t really sure how it was going to affect the taste of the soup. I added it with the water, so quite early on, and to begin with I wasn’t crazy about how it was tasting but after it simmering away with the soup for 30 minutes or so, it actually add this slight background to the saltiness in the soup which was very pleasant.
Another wonderful nutrient found in dillisk is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an essential part of anyone’s diet and it is mostly found in animal sources. I didn’t mention it above because after cooking it for 30 minutes it is unlikely that there will be any vitamin B12 in this soup but it’s unusual to find a vegan-friendly and natural source of B12 so I thought it worth mentioning. Hmm, I’ll have to give some thought to what I can add it to uncooked that I will happily eat…
I didn’t find out until after posting this recipe that traditionally Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies and so is not vegetarian. The Worcestershire sauce that I buy is Biona Worcester sauce and that is vegan and gluten-free. So there are veggie versions of this sauce. I’m not sure if they are quite as spicy as the original but it’s the one I use and I think it’s good.
- 200g rinsed and drained puy Lentils
- 1 small-medium onion, minced
- 2 celery sticks, minced
- 1 large carrot, sliced thickly (and if organic, unpeeled)
- 1 400g tin whole plum tomatoes, mashed
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 generous tablespoon paprika
- pinch dried thyme
- pinch dried oregano
- good pinch freshly ground pepper pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (vegan) Worcester sauce
- 2 tablespoons dillisk, washed, drained and sliced
- 1 litre water
- Heat a little oil in a deep saucepan. Add the onions, celery, carrot, salt and pepper and stir in well. Cover the pan and leave to cook on a gentle-moderate heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the paprika, stir in well, cover and leave for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the mashed up tomatoes, tarragon, oregano, thyme, garlic and worcestershire sauce. Stir in well, cover and leave for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the lentils, water and dillish. Turn up the heat and bring to boil. Boil on full heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to gentle-moderate and leave to simer for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.