Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Spinach and lentil soup revisited
We half live off soup during the winter months and have lots of home-cooked favourites - but I don't eat soup out that often any more as it so often has butter, milk or cream in it. So when I saw that the theme of Jaqueline and Lisa's No Croutons Required this month was copycats I was at a bit of a loss. Definitely the best soup I've eaten in a cafe or restaurant in years though was the spinach and lentil soup from Earth Cafe in Manchester which I already blogged about. When I tried to recreate it that time I put mushrooms in it, and made a nice soup, but not that like the original. But I have to admit that I have a cheat now. The soup was so amazing that I emailed the cafe afterwards to tell them, and to ask if I might possibly be able to have the recipe. Lovely people that they are, they estimated a recipe based on four people and sent it back to me. I don't like to reproduce it directly since they were so nice as to pass it on, but the copycat theme made me think to make a variant on it this week, based on what we had in the house. It was pretty much as good as the one I had at the cafe if memory serves correctly - thick and earthy and pleasingly green. The original recipe called for quite a lot more lentils than I used, but I made mine to eat the next day and it thickened up lots. If you're eating it straight away I'd think about adding some more.
Earth Cafe redux spinach and lentil soup
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tbsp dried thyme
200g red lentils
1.2 litres stock
Big load of spinach, washed
Fry onion and carrots in a little oil until soft. Add tomato puree and stir. Add lentils, thyme and stock, and simmer until lentils are done. Add spinach and let it wilt like crazy. Blend. Yum.
Earth Cafe is at 16-20 Turner Street, Manchester