Red lentil and celery soup with melted Stilton and chives
- 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large mild onion, roughly chopped
- 300 g (10½ oz) split red lentils
- 1.7 litres (3 pints) well-flavoured vegetable stock
- 4 large carrots, about 400 g (14 oz), sliced
- 1 head of celery, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz), sliced, some of the leaves reserved for garnish
- 100 g (3½ oz) Stilton cheese, crumbled
- 4 tbsp snipped fresh chives
- salt and pepper
Prep:15min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr15min
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Tip the lentils into the pan and pour in the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil. Add the carrots and celery. Bring back to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are very tender.
- Pure the soup, either in a blender or food processor, or using a hand-held blender directly in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Reheat until the soup is piping hot, but not boiling. Remove from the heat.
- Scatter the crumbled Stilton over the soup and stir in the chives. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish with the celery leaves and serve.
Make a red lentil and caramelised onion soup. Cook 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) thinly sliced mild onions with 4 sliced garlic cloves in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for 10 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle over 2 tsp caster sugar and fry for a further 15 minutes or until the onions are golden and caramelised. Add 300 g (10½ oz) split red lentils, 1.7 litres (3 pints) vegetable stock, 300 ml (10 fl oz) dry white wine, 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns and 4 bay leaves. Simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender, then remove the bay leaves. Pure half of the soup, then stir this back into the rest of the soup in the pan. Season and reheat. Serve with cheese crotes, made while the soup is simmering: arrange 12 slices of baguette in clusters of 3 on a foil-lined grill pan. Sprinkle with 85 g (3 oz) grated Gruyre cheese and grill until the cheese melts and starts to turn golden (the cheese will stick the bread slices together). Ladle the soup into soup plates. Carefully place 3 cheese crote clusters on top of each portion and serve immediately.
Unlike other pulses, lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking. They are a good source of protein, starchy carbohydrate, fibre and B vitamins. * Celery has only been used as a vegetable and salad ingredient since the late 17th century. It contains potassium, a mineral that helps to regulate fluid balance in the body, and therefore helps in the prevention of high blood pressure. It also contains a compound called phthalide, which may aid in lowering blood pressure.
Each serving provides
A, copper * B1, B6, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc * B2, C, E, folate, selenium
A very good soup. The flavours all work in harmony and I will be making it again. - 17 Mar 2012