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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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