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SPICED PUMPKIN AND LENTIL SOUP

Serves 4-6
  • 1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 750g tomatoes, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 60ml/1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1.25 litres (5 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 180g/3/4 cup red lentils

TO SERVE:  Yoghurt, sumac and crusty bread

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the pumpkin, tomatoes, garlic and carrot into a large flameproof casserole dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the spices and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Cover the dish and bake for 11/2 hours, or until the vegetable are soft.

Roughly mash the vegetables with a fork or potato masher and stir in the stock. Put the casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and bring the soup to the boil.

Add the lentils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add a little extra stock or water if the soup becomes too thick. Season and ladle into bowls. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of sumac and serve with crusty bread.

This recipe is from Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger

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PUY LENTIL SOUP WITH PARMESAN TOASTS

Puy lentils cook quickly, and hold their texture during the cooking process, where larger lentils tend to turn to dhal. 

Serves 4

  • 50g/11/2 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped Spanish onions
  • ½ cup sliced leeks, white part only
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 400g (13oz) tin chopped Italian tomatoes
  • 1 litre (32oz) vegetable stock, or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ cup lentils du Puy
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley

TO SERVE: Parmesan toasts 

Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onion and leeks and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery, garlic and chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, stock (or water), bay leaves, oregano and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir through parsley.

Ladle into serving bowls and serve with Parmesan toasts. 

PARMESAN TOASTS

  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ baguette
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

 Place oil and garlic in a blender and process until smooth.

Slice the baguette into thin slices. Lay the slices in one layer on a baking tray. Using a pastry brush, brush each piece of baguette with the garlic oil. Bake the toasts for 15-20 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp. Serve at room temperature. Makes 20pieces. Note: Toast will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

This recipe is from Sydney Food by Bill Granger

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MINESTRONE SOUP

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed and chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • few thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 80g smoked back bacon, trimmed of fat and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g tins borlotti or cannellini beans
  • 1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 600-800ml chicken stock
  • 75g spaghetti, broken into small pieces
  • large handful of basil, finely shredded Parmesan, for grating

Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, carrots, celery and some seasoning. Stir frequently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. Add the thyme, bay leaf and bacon. Increase the heat slightly and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.

Tip in the beans and tomatoes, then pour in the chicken stock or water to cover. Bring to a gently simmer. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. 

To serve, ladle into warm soup bowls and scatter over the shredded basil. If you wish, add a restrained drizzle of olive oil and grate a little Parmesan over each portion. Serve with chunks of crusty bread.

Recipe from Gordan Ramsay’s Healthy Appetite

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