’This post is an entry into the Nuffnang ‘Fresh Recipe’ Network Competition, thanks to BRITA. Check out betterwithbrita.com for inspiration and exclusive recipes by Gary Mehigan’.
There is a fantastic story that goes along with when I first tasted this beautiful soup, so bare with me, as its kind of funny now (it wasn’t at the time).
OK, So my other passion is singing I have been teaching singing for over 20 years and while I have always had a passion for food, my singing was what drove my life from when I was about 16 years old until about 2 years a go (I did starts singing lessons at 11).
I was on my way to Tasmania for a gig (musician speak for performance). It was for a fantastic friend of mine Jeff Crabtree AKA DR BOB (click on his name and it will take you too his website called the Zebra Collective, sign up and receive amazing inspiration and teaching from incredibly creative people all over the world).
I managed to get an early fight along with another great friend and wonderful bass player Tim. Tim and I where happily chatting away on the plane/airport coffee shop (doing his essay, buts that’s another entire blog) another plane and we eventually made it to Wynyard, Tasmania! When we got there, we discovered that Jeff had missed his flight (Sydney traffic) but had managed to get another one and would be flying in only 3 hours before the performance! So all is well. I start to rehearse the band for Jeff, getting ready for the performance. I am just supposed to be singing BV’s (Backing Vocals) for DR BOB, but now I’m getting the band ready as well. At this stage I’s starting to feel a bit hungry, but there’s a show to put on and a job to do so have another swig from my bottle of water and I just keep going.
At this point something happens, the weather! A storm front comes in and Jeff’s plane is diverted to Launceston airport, which is 2 hours drive from Wynyard… so this mean that DR BOB is now not going to be at the gig until an hour after it has started! Ok, I’m a professional I can do this, everyone is expecting DR BOB, but instead they will get me for and hour, just like the real world, I will be the warm up act! I’m still a pretty good singer and can get a crowd going, but I’m no DR BOB!
So I find out this news and then have to put together a quick set list of every blues song I know. I still thank God to this day for Tim as he was amazing and had my back through the whole gig! At this stage I’m starving, nervous, pacing up and down in the green room (where musicians wait to go on) wanting to throw up and Fiona puts this cup into my hand. I took one sip and my world was calm… I usually don’t eat before going on stage but this was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted at that moment in time!
Anyway to cut a long story short a few other things happen and DR BOB arrived for the very last song of the night, then got up to do one more! In the end it turned out to be a great night and everyone had a good time… We had another DR BOB gig on the Sunday night at church and it was fantastic.
After the gig we went back to Geoff, Fiona’s and Ashleigh’s house and I had some more soup and got the recipe off her. I have made it my own, but the bones of the recipe are the same. That was about 7 years ago and I still make this delicious soup every winter. I love the fact that in winter leeks are cheap so use them if you can, as they add great flavour, but onions are just as good! This also makes a huge amount, but it freezes so well and you are going to want to have it around because it is very addictive!
Below is a little pic of a secret ingredient for the soup (Paprika Relish) But the most important ingredient in this recipe is the WATER. Most soups incorporate stock, but because of all the other ingredients you just need water, so make sure that it is good quality filtered water like BRITA! Honestly, I use filtered water in all my cooking even to boil pasta, because filtered water really does make a difference to the end result of the food… and we always want our food tasting as good as it can be!
Ingredients – Makes about 6 Litres
2 Leeks /Onions
1/3 cup of Olive oil
500g packet of Red Lentils
10 Cups of BRITA Filtered Water
2 Tins of Tomatoes
4 large Tablespoons (of Paprika Relish (optional)
1 Bottle of Passata
2 Tin’s of Tomato Soup*
2 Tablespoons of Salt**
2 Tablespoons of Sugar**
Pepper to taste
Sour Cream to serve
1. In a very large pot, Sauté chopped leeks/Onions in the oil (If using leeks make sure they are well cooked).
2. Add Red Lentils, BRITA Filtered Water, Tomatoes, Paprika Relish (optional) and the whole bottle of Passata (Make sure you swish a bit of the BRITA Filtered Water into the tins and bottles to get the remnant goodness out).
3. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 60 minutes, after the first 30 minutes, check every 5 – 10 mins to make sure that as the liquid is absorbed, the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may need to add more liquid, but 10 cups seems to be the right amount and you don’t want it too runny, so just keep an eye on it.
4. When all the lentils are cooked add tomato soup, salt pepper and sugar to taste and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
5. Pour into a bowl and put a big dollop of sour cream in the middle and a bit more cracked pepper! Enjoy, but be careful it is very filling and very addictive and all of a sudden you are too full to move!
*I use Amy’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup pictured below, but you could use can of your standard soup concentrates found in the soup aisle of your supermarket, please just read the label to make sure that there isn’t too many nasty’s in it! 🙂
**Just a note re the salt and sugar, as it is important to address this in the sugarless age. 🙂 The balance of salt to sugar in tomatoes is very important. I always use Murray River Pink salt as it isn’t as salty (I know, weird). The sugar is to balance the salt and the acidity of the tomatoes. It is very important and enhances the flavour of the tomatoes. If you don’t want to add it don’t it will still taste great.
Ingredients (Makes 2 litres)
2 onions or 1 leek
200g of red Lentils
700g of BRITA Filtered Water
1 Tin of Tomatoes
350g bottle of Passata
150g of Paprika Relish (optional)
1 Tin of Tomato Soup (I use Amy’s Organic Creamy Tomato Soup)
1 Dessertspoon of Salt
1 Dessertspoon of Sugar
1. Place halved Onions/Leeks into mixing bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 7.
2. Scrape down sides, add oil and sauté for 3 minutes/Varoma/speed 1.
3. Weigh in Red Lentils
4. Add BRITA Filtered Water and cook for 30 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
5. Add Tin of Soup, Salt, Sugar and Pepper to taste
6. Cook for another 10 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.
7. Pour into a bowl and put a big dollop of sour cream in the middle and a bit more cracked pepper! Enjoy, but be careful it is very filling and very addictive and all of a sudden you are too full to move!
This is also a fantastic soup to feed a lot of people because it is very filling. The ThermoServers are fantastic if you are going to serve it straight away but if you are feeding a lot of people and want to prepare ahead of time. Grab your slow cooker and put the first lot of soup in and turn it on low. Then do another batch and another depending on how big your slow cooker is. The great thing is that it can then stay in the slow cooker for any amount of time on low until you are ready to serve the masses! Make it in the morning and serve it at night…!
Please write me a comment and let me know what you think.
If you like this recipe, maybe you will enjoy these!