I sometimes take a piece of cooked ham when i go for a weekend away, and this is one of the reasons why
I take it – delicious home-cooked soup that takes absolutely no time to make. I also love lentils. Whether they’re red lentils, nutty brown ones or the utterly gorgeous black Puy variety, I could eat them till the cows come home. Be sure to add plenty of flavour, season well and add a little drizzle of fruity olive oil to really give them a bit of oomph.
If you have the time and have a chunk of slightly stale bread going spare, you can make croutons, too.Toss the cubed bread with a good glug of olive oil and season well. Add to a warm frying pan and cook until golden. Add extra flavour by scattering in some torn thyme for the last minute of cooking.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
350g floury potatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
150g red lentils
1 litre light stock
200g cooked ham, chopped
Heat the oil in the largest saucepan you can find, add the chopped onion and garlic and gently sauté for 5 minutes or so. Then add the chopped potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
Throw in the bay leaf, lentils and stock, bring it all to the boil and let it simmer for 20 mins until the lentils and potatoes are tender.
Add the ham, along with a splash of boiling water or more stock if the soup seems a little too thick.
Check and adjust the seasoning before ladling the soup into warmed bowls to serve.
Adapted from The Weekend Cookbook by Catherine Hill (Michael Joseph, £18.99). To buy this book at the special price of £14.99, inc p&p, tel: 0843 060 0021 and quote Junior Weekend Cookbook.
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