Easy spicy len­til soup, two ways

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOOD EXCLUSIVE -

SERVES 6

2 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil about 300g leeks (trimmed weight) halved and thinly sliced about 250g car­rots (trimmed weight) halved and thinly sliced 1 cel­ery heart trimmed and thinly sliced 1 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh gin­ger root 1 heaped tsp finely chopped medium-hot red chilli 4 gar­lic cloves peeled and finely chopped 2 x 250g pack­ets of cooked puy lentils (for ex­am­ple Mer­chant Gourmet brand) 2 tbsp cider vine­gar 1 litre veg­etable stock sea salt 4 heaped tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf pars­ley ★ Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the leeks, car­rots, cel­ery, gin­ger and chilli and fry for about 10 min­utes un­til soft­ened and start­ing to colour, then add the gar­lic and cook for a few min­utes longer. Stir in the lentils, add the cider vine­gar and stock. ★ Bring to the boil and sim­mer for 8 min­utes or un­til the veg­eta­bles are ten­der. Purée a third of the soup in a food pro­ces­sor, stir this back in with the rest of the soup, sea­son with salt and add 4 ta­ble­spoons of pars­ley. WITH HAM HOCK Have ready 120g pulled ham hock or finely sliced lean ham. Serve the soup with a pile of ham in the cen­tre and pars­ley scat­tered over. MAKE IT VE­GAN Re­place the ham with thinly sliced ar­ti­choke hearts in oil.

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