So it was national Soup Day in South Africa…WAS being the operative word here…..yesterday! HAHA! Life is seriously fully taken up with the SA Food and Wine Blogger Indaba right now so I seem to be a little bit late with everything. Forgive me. Seeing as I am a soup fundi I thought that I would participate in the soup blogging thing but by the time I got here the boat had slightly sailed out into the……. well…………..soup! But I thought I would share with you anyway, especially seeing as soup (and smoothies) is what I have been existing on for the past year or so……. this one is vibrantly red, healthy and especially good so hang in there!
On another note entirely, the beloved and I were invited last night to share in the winter menu launch at one of my favourite venues. Remember that we went to the launch of the Harbour House Restaurant at the V&A Restaurant in November last year? Well they have done it again with the launch of their winter menu….you could not wish for a better venue, overlooking a working harbour, the food was superb and we had a fabulous evening in the company of some fabulous people and a roaring wood fire. I will be sharing about that in a future post but just wanted to say that this is the reason for this post being late….well partially that! I will blame the rest on Indaba and leave it at that……
So on to the soup of the day. I have been incredibly blessed since I started on this seemingly never ending journey of reconstructive oral surgery. I have wonderful neighbours…..and sometimes, when I have been unable to socialize with them, that is when I have been most blessed. I will suddenly get a text message on my mobile phone alerting me that a container of soup has been left at the garden gate. So out I go and collect the container and bring it in, opening it up to reveal a real labour of love. A couple of bowls of soup, made and given selflessly, in the true spirit of love and neighbourlyness. Is that a word??? If not, I just made it up. So I reiterate, I have wonderful neighbours. A while ago my one neighbour Mo dropped off a container of this soup for me. It was so sublime that I just had to wangle the recipe out of her. This recipe is hers, excepting for the chickpeas and smoked paprika which I added to it when I tested the soup for myself. Full of body and flavour this is a wonderfully fresh and filling soup. I have made it a couple of times since then and enjoy it more every time. I hope you try it for yourself. I am loving the cooler weather and so enjoying the soups that I am making at the moment. Not too much longer and I will be able to enjoy delicious chewy food once again. Just two more surgical procedures for this gal and then the foodie world is once again her oyster!!
TOMATO LENTIL AND CHICKPEA SOUP WITH BASIL AND PARMESAN
15ml Olive Oil
1 Onion – peeled and chopped
2 Cloves Garlic – peeled and crushed
125g Red Lentils
500g Roasted Tomatoes (I cut in half, drizzle with Olive oil, honey and Balsamic, fresh thyme or rosemary, black pepper and salt then roast for about 30 minutes at 200degC)
1 Can Chick Peas – drained and rinsed
900ml Vegetable Stock (I am personally very fond of NoMU Fonds )
50g Parmesan Cheese finely grated
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Salt Flakes and Black Pepper for seasoning
Smoked Paprika for serving
Creme Fraiche and Olive Oil for serving
Heat oil in large saucepan and saute onions over medium low heat for about five minutes until they are soft and glazed
Add the garlic and saute another minute or so
Stir in the washed drained lentils
Roughly chop the roasted tomatoes and add to the saucepan. At this point I must add that you can use a tin of whole tinned tomatoes that you roughly chop if so desired
Add the boiling stock and bring back to a boil.. lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until the lentils are soft and pale.
Add the drained rinsed chickpeas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and liquidize soup with a hand held blender
Return to heat to heat through, stir in half of the cheese and tear in the basil, reserving one or two sprigs for each plate
Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into soup bowls, add a drizzle of olive oil, some basil leaves, a sprinkling of smoked paprika and a bit of parmesan cheese
Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche ( I personally serve it with a big dollop of basil pesto – preferably the Pesto Princess one)
This soup freezes well but before you add the basil leaves and parmesan cheese.
Have a wonderful weekend.
PS The countdown to FBI2012 has begun. Excitement is in the air and things are hotting up on the Indaba front. Keep your eyes peeled for some exciting happenings and competitions in the last couple of weeks before the conference. I have some incredible sponsors lined up, the goodie bags will be filled to capacity. My home is starting to look, yet again, like a warehouse and I love it! If you are in Cape Town and you have not booked for the Food and Wine Blogger Indaba on June 24 you will be missing out, big time. Rumour has it that something beautiful, desirable, shiny and red will be one of the giveaways this year….something that all home chefs and foodies aspire to….maybe even dream about! I wonder what it could be?